New Virginia License Plate Exhorts Citizens to 'Fight Terrorism
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2002 Virginians soon will be able to sport vehicle license plates bearing a Pentagon-shaped logo and the words "Fight Terrorism" emblazoned in red letters in remembrance of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America.
The first plates are slated for delivery by the one-year anniversary of the attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, said Virginia House of Delegates representative Bob Hull today at an outdoor unveiling ceremony near the Pentagon.
Arlington County Chief of Police Edward A. Flynn stands between blowups of the new Virginia vehicle license, left, and the non-vehicle souvenir plate. The plates feature the phrase “Fight Terrorism” emblazoned in red letters. Photo by Gerry J. Gilmore.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Hull sponsored the state legislation creating the license plates. He noted Virginians could obtain the new plates as a way to show solidarity for the first responders who came to help in the wake of the attacks, to remember victims and to demonstrate "a national effort to resist this type of thing from ever happening again."
The Pentagon logo on the plates features an American flag and employs a silhouette of the New York World Trade Center's Twin Towers to form the "11" of the date of the attacks. The plates also commemorate the terrorist assault aboard the hijacked airliner that crashed into a Pennsylvania field.
Arlington County Chief of Police Edward A. Flynn said the logo was discovered among items the public left as part of an informal memorial erected near the damaged Pentagon as police processed evidence in the days just after the attack.
The Arlington police were impressed with the logo's "simplicity and power to evoke those terrible days," Flynn said
The police wanted to adopt the logo. After much searching, they discovered the logo's designer, a Texan named David Paranteau, who gave them permission to use it for charitable fund-raising, Flynn said.
So the policemen decided to produce lapel pins, T-shirts and decals featuring the design for sale, he said, with proceeds earmarked for Sept. 11-related charities.
The license plates can be ordered now at Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles offices or online at www.dmvnow.com . A "vanity-plate" version costs $20, $10 more than the standard version, while a non-vehicle souvenir plate is $10.