Patriotic event on 9/11 anniversary attracts many
Posted on 09/16/2021
The stage was set for a memorable event on a sunny afternoon.Several Northville citizens and Mayor Brian Turnbull put together a patriotic public event at noon on Saturday, Sept. 11, in Town Square to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil in the nation’s history. They asked the audience to remember and reflect on the nearly 3,000 lives lost, including the heroes among them (first responders and others).

Local Boys Scouts and one Girl Scout and troop leaders conducted a parade of flags from the fountain to the stage as approximately 125 attendees stood. After everyone recited the Pledge of Allegiance, Rev. Alice Ford, of First United Methodist Church, led the group in a deeply moving prayer of remembrance, adapted from the writing of Derek Weber.

The prayer opened with this sentiment: “…We gather in places all across your land this day for the difficult, solemn and sacred act of remembering. We remember when planes became weapons in search of human targets, when strong towers fell, when the dust of destruction filled the air; we remember where we were as we learned of the loss of precious lives. We remember our sense of shock, our numbness that overwhelmed us as the media droned on and on, hour after hour, and we watched, waiting for to understand that which could never be understood.”

It ended with these aspects of healing: “Honor the lives of those that died. Give thanks for those who served and saved. Bring comfort to those who suffer still. Build what has been torn down. Mend what has been broken. Live in your love when hate seems to reign. And bear witness to the eternal arc of justice that moves steadily toward your peace.”

Talented singers Tina Genitti and Jake McClory further brightened the sunny afternoon with their songs. When Tina sang “God Bless America,” the audience joined in.

Mayor Turnbull referenced the flag mural that was painted on the back of the Marquis Theatre in honor of 9-11 by Jeff Von Buskirk. He said, “Northville has always been a patriotic town. Keep the memory of those who passed on in our hearts and in our minds.”

Township Supervisor Mark Abbo thanked all involved in the event, and said the attack on 9-11 shows that we live in a perilous world. Yet, what happened after the tragedy was also telling. “We came together and had a common cause. We talked to each other and hugged. We need that 9/11 spirit – to put families and America first – not a political agenda. Say a prayer for America.”

Teresa Folino, the chief organizer of the event, said those who went to their offices in the World Trade Center on that Tuesday were just doing their jobs. When first responders woke up that morning, they also had no idea what awaited them. Yet, thousands had died by 10 a.m. “Don’t take one second of your life for granted,” she said.

There was a baby shower next door at 160 Main and the guests at the outdoor patio table nearest the stage joined in the Pledge of Allegiance and listened to the speeches. They got a double dose of events that day – one celebratory and the other mournful yet hopeful for better times ahead for the United States on this 19th Patriot Day.

Family at a table in Town Square

Prudy Quinn and Dee DeGrande hold a basket of flags.
Grant Clark and wife Nadine Merriman
Photos by Liz Cezat.