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Home | 30th anniversary page | Page One, Introduction | Evidence Jimmy Carter abandoned the Shah | OVERTAKING THE EMBASSY | EmbassyTakeoverPictures | Embassy Takeover Pictures - page 2 | Embassy Takeover Pictures - 3 | Embassy Takeover Pictures - 4 | IRANIANS THREATEN TO KILL HOSTAGES | HOSTAGES RECOUNT EVENTS | WAYS THE IRANIANS TRIED TO DIVIDE US | BACKGROUND HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE | HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE, PAGE 2 | THE SOVIET UNION AT SEA | THE 31ST MARINE AMPHIBIOUS UNIT IN THE ARABIAN SEA DURING THE HOSTAGE CRISIS | U.S.Navy, HM-16, and the U.S.S. Nimitz in the Arabian Sea | THANK YOU CANADA!!! | AIR FORCE ASSOCIATION OFFICIAL ACCOUNT | Hofstra University Historical Account | U.S. ARMY RANGERS AND SPECIAL FORCES LEAD THE WAY! | Analysis of the Mission | THE FALLEN HEROES | PERSONAL STORIES OF THOSE AT DESERT ONE, AND THOSE AT SEA | HOSTAGES RECOUNT THEIR CAPTIVITY | 20th Anniversary of the Hostage Rescue Attempt | Reception at Fort McNair for the Former Hostages | 25 ANNIVERSARY PHOTO PAGE | 25th anniversary page | Fine Groups that have honored the fallen men of this mission | Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980) | IRANIANS CALLING FOR RETURN OF THE SHAH | IRANIAN PRESIDENT HOSTAGE TAKER | Who is the Ayatollah? | Under construction | error page

The Hostage Rescue Attempt In Iran, April 24-25, 1980

Fine Groups that have honored the fallen men of this mission


Jn:15:13: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.



I'd like to thank the people who held the rememberance. No Greater Love does the best work in organizing and leading rememberance ceremonies to keep in our minds fallen heroes. Here is a description from their web site.

Founded in 1971, NGL is the only non-political, non-profit, humanitarian organization in the United States solely dedicated to providing annual programs of remembrance, friendship and care for families who lost a loved one in the service of our country or by an act of terrorism. NGL is committed to freedom, human dignity and the idea that, ``the beginning of the end of war lies in remembrance." This commitment is reflected in bringing families together in remembrance of their loved ones who gave their last full measure of devotion.

Click here to go to the main page for No Greater love:


This site is another Must See Site. In 1980, a man named Tom Flynn wanted to create a memorial in his home town of Hermitage, PA, so that People would always remember the Hostages who were still being held at that time. He started to put up flags, representing everyday the hostages were held. The response was fantastic, and now, these flags are a permanent display. There is also an eternal flame to keep the lives of those brave men who died always in our hearts. Thanks Tom, you did a wonderful job! Click on this photo for a link to "The Avenue of Flags"!


Flags:A Graphic Demonstration of American Patriotism American flags for as far as the eye can see greet visitors as they enter the Hillcrest Memorial Park in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. Originally flown for the American hostages that were held in Iran between 1979 and 1981, the 444 flags remain today a symbol of American hope and pride.

The story of this largest known display of flags in the world begins on November 4, 1979, when Iranian militant students took control of American embassy and held 53 American citizens captive.

While families of the hostages will always carry the memory of the Iranian hostage crisis close to their hearts, many Americans became more and more detached as each day of captivity passed. All too soon Americans watched news updates on the crisis with the feeling of indifference as they lost track of the duration of captivity.

But Tom Flynn, owner of Hillcrest Memorial Park, was convinced that this period in American history was too important to forget and determined to find a way to help Hermitage and the nation remember.

With the help of unemployed steel workers in the Valley and flags donated by the families of veterans buried at Hillcrest, Flynn decided to erect an American flag for each day the hostages had been held. On day 100, the first 100 flags were flown. In a special ceremony that evening, Mr. and Mrs. Matrinko of Oliphant, Pennsylvania (near Scranton) raised the 100th flag and lighted a flame of freedom for their son, Michael, who was still being held a captive. The flame would burn until Michael was able to come home and extinguish it. Flynn further committed to add a flag to the memorial for each day the hostages were held. Little did he know that this commitment would mean 344 additional flags.

Special ceremonies at Hillcrest were held on day 200, 300, 365, and 400, as time in captivity began to be marked by the number of flags flying on the Avenue. Included in these special tributes was a 52-hour prayer vigil, one hour for each of the remaining hostages still being held.

When eight American servicemen lost their lives during an ill-fated rescue attempt in Iran, the citizens of Scranton joined forces to dedicate a permanent monument in memory of these brave men and placed it in the Avenue of Flags.

The hostages were released on January 20, 1981. Michael Matrinko, along with five other returning hostages, lighted the eternal flame which today still burns in front of the monument dedicated to the 1980 rescue attempt. The flame was taken from the Flame of Freedom, lit by the Matrinkos on the 100th day of captivity.

Over 1,000 flags were used to keep the flags flying during the original 444 days, as the flags needed to be replaced three to four time a year. All but 100 of these original flags were donated by supporters from all around the world. Most of them had once draped the casket of an American veteran. The flags represented periods in history from the Spanish-American War through the Vietnam conflict. One Canadian flag also flies on the Avenue in recognition of the Canadian embassy's help in saving six hostages from captivity and eventually returning them to freedom.


Donations of flags or money for the purchase of flags are still received. However, today most of the flags are purchased new by Hillcrest at an annual investment of over $12,000. The flags fly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but are lowered to half-mast for such solemn occasions as the Challenger space shuttle explosion.

On days when the sound of these 444 symbols of American pride can be heard flapping in the wind from a distance, visitors are filled with a sense of pride and remembrance of a time when America was held hostage, and many have been seen to leave the park with tears filling their eyes.

The Avenue of Flags is one of the few remaining displays in the country which marks a time believed to be the beginning of a rebirth of American patriotism. The park is visited by people from all over the world and is open year-round for the public to enjoy. Individual and group tours are welcome.

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Many school teachers have found this site helpful in their history classes, along with many active duty military personnel at home and abroad doing a paper to advance in their rank. I hope you find this website helpful. Please remember the men of this mission!