In honor of those who sacrificed their lives during the terrorist events of Sept. 11, 2001, the exhibit 9/11: A Day That Changed America, on loan from the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City, and a rescue vehicle used following the attacks, on loan from the Henry Ford Museum, will be on display at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in downtown Grand Rapids.

The exhibits will be on display as part of the 14th annual Community Day of Remembrance and Scout Salute on Sept. 11, 2015. In addition, Wounded Warriors from the West Michigan region, and the flag that will be flown at the museum during the commemoration, will be escorted into Grand Rapids by fire and police personnel, and more than 200 motorcyclists. Several other events are scheduled during the commemoration.

For the 14th year, the  President Ford Council, Boy Scouts of America will lead  the West Michigan community in a day-long “Scout Salute” at the museum on Sept. 11 to pay respect to all those who died during the terrorist attacks. The day of remembrance has been held annually from sunrise to sunset since Sept. 11, 2002, at the GRFPM and has been supported by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation each year.

“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,” Joe Calvaruso, executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation said. “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.”

To honor the arrival of the flag that will be flown during the Scout Salute, during the afternoon of Sept. 10, Wounded Warriors, members of various police and fire departments, the Patriot Guard Riders, members of the Rolling Thunder motorcycle group and the Boy Scouts of America will escort the flag to the museum from the National Guard Armory located in Belmont, Mich. Upon the flag’s arrival to the museum at 5 p.m., it will be raised during a ceremony which is open to the public.

During evening ceremonies on Sept. 11, SpartanNash will present a personalized Honor and Remember flag to the parents of Army Specialist 4th Class Brian K. Derks, who was killed in action August 13, 2005, in Baghdad, 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.”

While the exhibits are on display in Grand Rapids, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, located at 303 Pearl Street N.W., is free and open to the public to visit. The museum and exhibit will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sept. 11.

The schedule of events during the commemoration includes:

September 10:

4 p.m. - Staging begins for escort of Wounded Warriors and Flag. The staging area is the Belmont Armory, located at 1650 House Street, Belmont, Mich.

4:45 p.m. - The Patriot Guard and police and fire units will escort Wounded Warriors and a special flag to Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

5 p.m. - The motorcade will arrive at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and roll through before continuing to the museum.

5:20 p.m. - Escorts arrive to Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum entrance on the circle drive. Escorts will line up along flag line driveway facing Pearl Street. The public is invited to await the escorts’ arrival on the circle drive.

5:30 p.m. - Raising of the flag and remarks by Retired Brig. General and WMU-Cooley Law School Professor Michael McDaniel. McDaniel recently served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense Strategy, Prevention and Mission Assurance.

September 11:

7:18 a.m. (sunrise) - Scout Salute begins – the community is encouraged to participate at any time during the day

8:40 a.m.  - Honor Guard lowers flag from full- to half-staff

8:45 a.m. - Moment of Silence and Remembrance

8:46 a.m. - The Salute Bell will be rung one time for Tower 1 (the time the first plane hit the first tower)

8:50 a.m. - Introduction of speaker Mayor George Heartwell

9:03 a.m. - The Salute Bell will be rung one time for Tower 2

9:37 a.m. - The Salute Bell will be rung one time for the Pentagon

10:03 a.m. - The Salute Bell will be rung one time for United Airlines Flight 93

Noon - Ceremony to honor Police, Fire, EMS and Military members

12:30-2 p.m. - Canine unit demonstration, meet and greet at Ah-Nab-Awen Park

7 p.m. - Evening ceremonies begin

  • Performance by The Salvation Army Brass Band
  • SpartanNash Honor and Remember flag presentation
  • Remarks from keynote speaker Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
  • Remarks from Boy Scout Council President Wayman Britt
  • The final salute and the flag being raised to full-staff

8 p.m. (sunset) - Scout Salute closes