14 years later: Grand Rapids remembers 9/11


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Remembering 9/11, 14 years after the terrorist attacks that shook our nation. Friday, Grand Rapids came together to honor the lives that were lost.

The events outside the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum were capped off with an evening ceremony.

A brass band played the song notes of our nation. A salute bell was rung for the places where tragedy struck. And nearly 3,000 flags were planted in the ground — representing the lives that were lost on 9/11.

“It’s just a horrendous tragedy. I think of all the lost lives that were taken,” said Sandy Hoogerhyde, who attended the ceremony.

Many emotions return on the anniversary of the tragedy, as the images from that day, will remain in people’s minds forever.

But for those who are too young to remember — they were at the event too.

Dozens of boy scouts saluted the flag at half-staff from sunrise to sunset.

“One of the things that we do here today — is to recognize what happened in our country and to call to these boys’ attention that it’s important to remember. Remember the people that died, remember the heroes that went in,” Jennie Betz told 24 Hour News 8. Betz is an assistant scout master in Rockford.

The ceremony also gave people a chance to remember not just those who died on 9/11 — but also those who’ve been killed while serving our country.

Specialist Brian Derks’, who’s from White Cloud, was killed in Iraq in 2005. Friday night, Derks’ family was presented with a flag in his honor.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley was there to honor Derks and to deliver the ceremony’s keynote speech.

“The life that we live every single day — it was paid for with the ultimate sacrifice. From so many including right here in our community,” Calley said.

Whether it’s at a ceremony in New York City, Grand Rapids or anywhere else, the message sent 14 years after 9/11 is all the same.

>>Photos: Ford Museum hosts 9/11 ceremonies

“We’re the United States of America. We’re together, we’re a team. No matter what happens we will… we will win,” said Wayman Britt, of the president Ford Field Service Council of the Boy Scouts of America

Specialist Brian Derks’, who’s from White Cloud, was killed in Iraq in 2005. Friday night Derks’ family was presented with a flag in his honor.

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