Friday, December 21, 2001

Remember 9-11-01

Al and Michelle Liebman of Palm Springs, Calif., received a Hawaii flag yesterday from Gov. Ben Cayetano at the state Capitol. Liebman will visit all 50 states to collect their state flags.

Sept. 11 benefit hike
starts in isles

By Pat Omandam

A California man attempting a hike to all 50 state capitals to raise money for victims and survivors of the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks took his first steps yesterday in Hawaii.

Hawaii was the first stop for Al Liebman, 63, a Palm Springs real estate agent who lost a friend aboard American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to crash into New York's World Trade Center.

In a ceremony in Gov. Ben Cayetano's office yesterday, Liebman received the Hawaii state flag from the governor, who called Liebman's efforts to hike 1,000 miles -- a 20-mile hike to each state capital -- an inspirational effort.

"He has certainly chosen a challenging undertaking," Cayetano said.

Liebman said Hawaii is the first state on his nine-month journey, with California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska next on the list.

Once he has collected all 50 state flags, he will present them at the World Trade Center site and then auction them off on the first anniversary of the attacks.

Liebman hopes there will be interest by collectors or businesses in obtaining the collection, which will come with a proclamation from each state governor.

"We really enjoyed the weather here in Hawaii," said Liebman, who walked to the top of Diamond Head and then to the state Capitol for his 20-mile hike.

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