Published: Sep 11, 2010 8:41 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 11, 2010 5:42 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Thousands of tiny flags are helping some Florida Gulf Coast students make a big statement in remembering 9/11.

It's not your typical scene of college students on a Saturday.

"Took us about two hours, we started at about seven o'clock in the morning," student Jason Boswell said Saturday morning.

For this group, today meant early rising all in an effort to remember the day forever changing the nation. Students planted 2,977 American flags to remember each life lost on September 11th, 2001.

"It is a small gesture, it's very local. But if a lot of people do it, at the same time, on the same day, it all adds up to something really big," student James Davis said.

He rolled up his sleeves to help make the memorial. 9/11 changed his life, moving him to join the military. He's now a senior at FGCU, after serving two tours in Afghanistan.

"Watching all those innocent people perish in that one day, it was just unbelievable and it moves you. I was actually not even old enough to join the military at that time, but shortly after I did join the military," Davis said.

While the close to 3,000 flags may seem small on the sprawling's message still stands strong, nine years later.

"The fact that everyone can come together on this day and remember what did happen, and support each other, and come together under one flag and one cause, it's just amazing that that can still happen this much time later," Davis said.

Saturday's 9/11 memorial was put together by the Florida Gulf Coast University Chapter of College Republicans.