Not everyone lowered their flags on Patriot Day, but those who did say they hope to lead by example.
"It just helps remind the community of what’s going on in the world," said Will Parker of Witham Auto Center in Waterloo.
Parker hopes lowering their five flags will help remind others to do the same.
"So maybe they’ll drive by our store and see them at half staff and then go to their place and say ‘yeah, we need to lower them,’" said Parker.
Parker said he believes in honoring the flag on 9/11 in order to set a good example for those too young to remember.
"It’s very important for us to remember that so we can teach the younger generation.
"Telling them why those flags are at half staff, cause they don’t know. They truly don’t know," said Irving Elementary School teacher Trish Carlson.
Carlson said many of her fourth grade students were shocked by the images they thought only existed in movies.
"I think one of the biggest ah-has for them, literally, was watching the actual coverage from 2001 and seeing planes hit and the smoke and the towers coming down, and they go ‘did that really happen?’ and I’m like ‘yes, that really happened,’" said Carlson.
She also believes in teaching them about how the United States stood strong in the days that followed the attacks.
"Also teaching them resilience, like you don’t give up, even when things happen we can still move forward and be a better person or a better country, I think that’s important that kids understand that too," said Carlson.
Carlson said she hopes today’s lesson will help her students learn to be more respectful of the flag and the thousands who lost their lives 17 years ago.