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'Freeport flag ladies' wave Stars and Stripes one final time

FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2004, file photo, The "Freeport Flag Ladies" leave a campaign rally for President Bush in Lewiston, Maine. From left are Carmen Footer, Elaine Greene and JoAnn Miller, all of Freeport, Maine. The three women who've been waving the Stars and Stripes each week since the 9/11 attacks are folding up their flags in Freeport, Maine. The tradition started after the terrorist attacks 18 year ago. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

FREEPORT, Maine — Three women who’ve been waving the Stars and Stripes each week since the 9-11 attacks are folding up their flags in Freeport, Maine.

The tradition started after the terrorist attacks 18 year ago.

With the nation reeling, Elaine Greene wanted to do something to help. She grabbed a flag and began waving it. Motorists honked their approval.

The simple patriotic act has played out weekly ever since then.

But JoAnn Miller, Carmen Footer and Greene did more than wave flags. They mailed care packages to troops deployed in the war on terror. They visited the wounded and attended funerals.

Greene, who’s the youngest at 74, says age is taking a toll. She said Wednesday marks the end of the weekly tradition but the women will remain active.

David Sharp, The Associated Press