For military police veteran Joe Highley, the flag has a special place in his heart.

On the 17th anniversary of 9/11, Highley brought the flag with it with him on a hike up Piestewa Peak.

"Every year we go up. It's a great feeling and that's why I do it,” said Highley.

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“I don't want them to forget. I want them to always remember what happened that day,” said Highley.He's been making this patriotic journey for the last 10 years.

On Tuesday morning, our Lyons Roofing news chopper was there as he made it to the summit.

"It's a very somber feeling. It's a time when I can just kind of hold the flag before I put it in the spot,” said Highley.

[RELATED: Basic training to war: Boot camp brothers volunteer for combat after 9/11]

Highley's ritual of reflection is a striking image. His silhouette stands in front of a rising sun, honoring the nearly 3,000 people who died that day.

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[RELATED: First responders climb 2,000+ steps to honor those who died in the Twin Towers]

“And I just kind of reminisce about the last nine years I did it. I think about everybody I was in the Army with, the people that are no longer with us, and it gives me a time to reflect, and it fuels me for the next year to do it again,” said Highley.

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