Five years after Sept. 11, the original American flag raised at Ground Zero by three firefighters is missing in action.

The Ground Zero flag raising was captured as a classic image by a New Jersey newspaper photographer. It was a simple American flag hung from a leaning flag pole atop the rubble of the Twin Towers.

Within hours, the Ground Zero flag photograph was moved worldwide via The Associated Press.

It became history immediately.

The Ground Zero flag became reminiscent of the famed Iwo Jima flag raising of World War II.

The Sept. 11 flag raising apparently had more in common with the Iwo Jima photo than anyone knew.

Commandeered off a yacht docked on the nearby Hudson River, the Ground Zero flag was 3 feet by 5 feet. When the flag was honored seven months later, the firefighters noted it was not the same flag, now a 5-foot-by-8-foot flag.

The city of New York has never been able to locate the original 3-foot-by-5-foot flag. No one knows where the original flag is or when it was switched.

It is too bad the original flag is now missing in action. However, it will never lose its place in history nor America's heart.

The flag was raised by three New York firefighters about six hours after the Twin Towers crashed to the ground. The flag helped reassure Americans during the darkest hours in our history.

The Ground Zero flag will always be remembered in our hearts.