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"I'll Take it From Here"

Pass These Colors On


John Grier

By MALIA RULON, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - An Ohio art teacher's rough sketch of a firefighter handing an American soldier a flag has circled the Internet, turned up on T-shirts and caught the Defense Department's attention.

On Thursday, an oil painting of the image, called "I'll take it from here," was to go on permanent display at the Army Operations Center in the Pentagon.

Jeff Grier first drew the image in pencil on scratch paper at his home, having gotten the idea from a fellow teacher, Tom Hernan, in the week after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"I was so moved by all the firemen rushing in and just their bravery. Also, there was a sense that there was going to be some strong repercussions," Hernan said. "The idea was to tie the two together."

Grier's black and white sketch shows a firefighter emerging from a pile of rubble and handing off a flag to an American soldier. The background shows the New York City skyline, including the World Trade Center towers, and military aircraft.

"It's fascinating. You know if I had tried to plan something with this kind of publicity, it would never have happened," Grier said. "It really did touch a nerve with people and that's all I could hope for."

Grier and Hernan made 3,000 T-shirts, which they gave away or sold for $10 each. They donated $14,000 in profits to a group that helps family members and surviving spouses of a special forces unit based at Fort Campbell, Ky.

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