GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A yearlong project to cultivate peace through the understanding of all religions, launched Monday by several religious leaders and Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, is an ongoing response to the 9/11 attacks 10 years ago.
Organizers originally planned to unveil Interfaith Understanding at a later date, but then decided September 12 was the right day. They plan hundreds of events over the next 12 months.
Heartwell told 24 Hour News 8 the idea for Interfaith Understanding is "to break down the barriers that create mistrust, that create fear. We are afraid so often of the ones who are different than us because we don't understand them."
Everyone remembers the events of September 11, 2001, but it was September 12 when a new sense of patriotism, unity and resolve rose from those ashes. That's why organizers knew this date was the right date to launch their project.
"It was just wonderful, everybody would sing the Star Spangled Banner, everyone would stand and cheer," Chuck Carpenter said as he toured the Healing Field at the Cannonsburg Ski Area , "but it's faded."
Perhaps no group gained more respect than firefighters in the days after 9/11. That feeling lingers.
Still, for Carpenter and others like him, he feels a lot of that sentiment has gone away over the past decade.
"I am hoping that it doesn't take another 3000 people being killed to get it back," he said. "I just wish (the feeling of camaraderie) were there all of the time."
Global civil rights icon Nelson Mandela, whose legacy is ending South African apartheid, has died.
The case of a man accused of the involuntary manslaughter of three children who died in a February apartment fire is ready to go to a jury.
A Grand Rapids man has been arrested in connection to the case of a Jenison teen who was missing.