Ford Museum hosts 9/11 ceremonies


A New York City Fire Department helmet on display in the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Photo via

A special exhibit will be on display Friday in remembrance of 9/11.

The exhibit “9/11: A Day That Changed America” will be at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, starting on the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 10, through Friday, Sept. 11. The exhibit is on a loan from the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City.

Also on display will be a rescue vehicle used following the attacks, from the Henry Ford Museum.

The exhibits will be part of the 14th annual Community Day of Remembrance and Scout Salute. The annual event has been held every sunrise to sunset on Sept. 11 since 2002. It is supported by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation.

Wounded Warriors from West Michigan and the flag that will be flown during the commemoration will be escorted into Grand Rapids by fire and police personnel and more than 200 motorcyclists on Thursday afternoon. The flag, from the National Guard Armory in Belmont, will be raised at 5 p.m. during a special ceremony.

The exhibit is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.

“Each year the Community Day of Remembrance and Scout Salute are commemorated here in Grand Rapids so children and their families have the opportunity to learn about the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001,” said Joe Calvaruso, executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation. “This year’s events and exhibits allow the West Michigan community to honor and remember all those who gave their lives because of the terrorist attacks 14-years-ago.”

On Friday, SpatanNash will present a personalized Honor and Remember flag to the parents of Army Specialist 4th Class Brian K. Derks.

Derks was killed in action in 2005 in Iraq.

“SpartanNash cares deeply for those who protect our families and defend our freedoms, and we are committed to ensuring that these brave men and women’s sacrifices and stories are not forgotten,” said Meredith Gremel, SpartanNash vice president, corporate affairs and communications. “The Honor and Remember flag pays tribute to all our soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country, paying the ultimate price for our freedoms.”

On Friday, a timeline of salutes will be held in remembrance of each significant event on 9/11, including the attacks centered on the World Trade Center towers, Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93.

Mayor George Heartwell will speak at 8:50 a.m. Friday.

At noon, a ceremony will be held to honor police, fire, EMS and military members.

Friday evening will conclude with an hour-long ceremony at 7 p.m. with a performance by the Salvation Army Brass Brand, the SpartanNash flag presentation, remarks from Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, remarks by Boy Scout Council President Wayman Britt and a final salute.

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