- The Washington Times - Friday, September 14, 2001

A Brazilian immigrant who wants to be a U.S. citizen planned to paint all night, donating his time, to create an 8-yard U.S. flag above a D.C. diner.
Elderly Army widows pasted star-spangled banners on their apartment doors at a retirement home near Military Road.
Generation-Y college students who have flown the Stars and Stripes from their row house since they moved in in May are frustrated that their fixed-position flag can't be lowered to half-staff.
American University political science and justice major Joseph Randazzo, 20, was decked out in a Lady Liberty-New York Rangers hockey jersey despite the September heat.
Even before Congress passed a resolution yesterday asking Americans to fly the flag for 30 days, residents of the District, Maryland and Virginia mustered what red, white and blue they could find to show their love of country, their grief and their resolve.
"My father just went and got a new stars-and-stripes tattoo on his forearm," said Mr. Randazzo, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., whose mother had told him that papers from the World Trade Center blew past the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and landed against the walls of her school.
He said he'd like to see more flags, but it seems supply, not apathy, is preventing some patriotic displays.
Giant Food stores are decked with red, white and blue ribbons and balloons, but its flags aren't for sale, though Montrose Crossing store manager Ron Edwards gave one to a customer who couldn't find one elsewhere.
And Giant Vice President Barry Scher said cashiers will begin collecting today for the "American Hero Fund" created to help victims of the terrorist attacks. Parent company Ahold USA will match donations up to $1 million, with contributions from Washington-area stores going to help Pentagon crash survivors and those from 13 Delaware Valley stores going to New York survivors.
The company doesn't know yet how much it has donated to the recovery effort at the Pentagon.
"I told the managers 'Just do it — we'll take care of the paperwork later,'" Mr. Scher said.
Agnaldo L. Pereira and American City Diner owner Jeffrey Gildenhorn are building a scaffold and buying paint to turn the billboard over their diner on Connecticut Avenue into a giant U.S. flag.
"I do this from my heart. I do whatever I can to show my love for this country," said Mr. Pereira, who moved here from Brazil seven years ago and wants to become a U.S. citizen.
Americans of all ethnic backgrounds need to work together to combat latent prejudices, Mr. Gildenhorn said, adding that it will be tougher for those of Arab descent who face stereotyping.
"When the chips are down, pettiness and politics go aside," said Mr. Gildenhorn, a Democrat. "I have the utmost faith in this administration. We will prevail and learn by this tragic aberration that we cannot take our freedom for granted."
Mr. Gildenhorn bought stars-and-stripes scarves and bandannas for all his wait staff to wear at American City Diner.
Marco Rose made his job on Rockville Pike a walking testimony to patriotism and American industriousness.
Making ends meet by wearing a placard to advertise a shoe-repair shop, he waved Old Glory at passers-by. Parked close by is the bicycle-drawn red, white and blue cart from which he operates his fledgling handyman business.
"I've loved the flag all my life and carried it each day since the tragedy happened," he said. "It's good to see people smile."


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