GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Sunday marks 21 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Events are being held across West Michigan including in Grand Rapids to commemorate that day four hijacked planes crashed into three locations across the U.S. killing thousands of people.
The Grand Rapids community will gather at the Gerald R. Ford Museum for a day-long tribute led by the Michigan Crossroads Council, Boy Scouts of America.
“We’d like for the whole community to come out – families, individuals and other organizations,” Sean Henneman, member of the BSA, said.
The event starts at sunrise which is at about 7:18 a.m.
The Grand Rapids Fire Department will ring a bell at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., and 9:37 a.m. signifying the time the planes crashed at the World Trade Center Tower 1, Tower 2 and the Pentagon.
The fourth bell will ring at 10:03 a.m. which is when hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 93 into a field in Pennsylvania.
“That was kind of a catalyst for pushing me into public service. About five years after that I joined the Marine Corps. It led me to a career in law enforcement after that,” Grand Rapids Police Officer Justin Copelin said.
He added, “I think it’s important to continue to remember the innocent lives that were lost in that attack and also the ultimate sacrifice was made by first responders trying to save lives and I think those are both really important things to continue to commemorate.”
The actual ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. It will feature GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom and state Rep. Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids. The Salvation Army Band will perform at 6 p.m. and the final salute will take place at sundown at approximately 8 p.m.