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2019 West Michigan Community Day of Remembrance and Scout Salute

2019 West Michigan Community Day of Remembrance and Scout Salute photo
Patrick Center

The 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks was commemorated Wednesday at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum hosting its Community Day of Remembrance. WGVU was there.

“First row, too. Left face.”

When you’re saluting, what are you thinking about?

“All the people who died on 9/11. All the firefighters and police.”

Saluting the flag is Connor Kelley is a 13-year old Boy Scout with troop 283 out of Belmont.

“Forward march.”

I ask Connor how many times he’s saluted today?

“Probably about 10.”

That’s because the Scouts are there keeping the line moving.

“Rows advance!”

“All day from dawn to dusk anybody can come down and step in line and pay their respects and I encourage everyone to.”

Ryan Kriesch is Program Director for the President Ford Field Service Council, Boy Scouts of America.

“Many of the young men and women that come and partake in this event weren’t even alive at the time.”

I ask visiting students what they know about this day?

“Um, I know that there was a terrorist attack and a lot of people lost their lives either trying to get out or trying to help people.”

Eleven-year old Amelia is with her teacher.

“I explain things a little bit that there was going to be a tribute over here at the Gerald R. Ford Museum and there may be an opportunity for them to pay respects for our country.”

That’s Amy Mabin. She’s a physical education teacher with Grand Rapids Public Schools Museum Middle School.

Kriesch says, “I’d encourage them to open a book and read a little bit on the activity and the event to get a little bit more familiar with it and let them understand that, you know, there are a lot of people in uniform that everyday get up and go to work, and their work is a lot more risky than sitting behind a desk or going to school.” Second row, attention! Salute.”

Individual from across West Michigan and the nation paying their respects.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.