West Michigan’s annual September 11 Day of Remembrance and Scout Salute got underway today beginning at sunrise and will continue until sunset to commemorate the anniversary of the terrorist attacks in America on Sept. 11, 2001 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
The day started at sunrise with color guards from the Grand Rapids Fire and Police Departments who lowered the flag from full staff to half staff to open the day of remembrance.
“It is important for our community to come together and raise awareness about the historic events of 9/11 through the annual West Michigan Day of Remembrance and Scout Salute,” said Joe Calvaruso, executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation in a press release about the event. “The Boys Scouts of America along with members of the Grand Rapids Police and Fire Departments, the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Spartan Nash, Girl Scouts of Michigan, and many members of the community continue to work together in creating a tradition of honoring those who died at the hands of terrorists.”
Local Boy Scouts of America troops will be present throughout the day performing their “Scout Salute” while the community activities carry on during the day. Disaster readiness activities will be held several times during the day with students from several school districts, including GRPS, participating in the “Be Prepared” program.
Other community events include a blood drive from The American Red Cross inside the museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a 9/11 poster competition and placing flags at nearby Ah-Nab-Awen Park to commemorate those who lost their lives during the attacks.
Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss will also be present at the museum to give her remarks on the importance of remembering the tragic day at 12:15 p.m.
Moments of silence and the Salute Bell will be rung several times during the day as well marking the times of the terrorist attacks at several cities in the U.S. The first bell was rung at 8:46 a.m. for the first plane that struck Tower 1 of the World Trade Center. The next bell rang at 9:03 a.m. for Tower 2. Two more bells rang for the attacks at the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 at 9:37 a.m. and 10:03 a.m., respectively.
The Day of Remembrance will close at sunset, around 8 p.m., with the color guards raising the flag to full staff and the Boy Scouts of America concluding their Scout Salute.
For more information on the day’s events, visit the GRFPM event Facebook page.