BY MATT TROUTMAN firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Artifacts from the World Trade Center stood as centerpieces in local Sept. 11 memorial ceremonies.
Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department Chief Pat Parker said a 3,300-pound steel beam from the North World Trade Center Tower that now sits in the Grand Traverse 9/11 Memorial Park is more than just a reminder that 343 firefighters died in the terror attack.
“It’s not a fire department memorial. It’s actually the community’s,” he said.
About 100 members of public on Wednesday gathered in the park for a ceremony marking the 12th year since the attack. Parker said the ceremony included a flag raising, a speech by U.S. Coast Guard Commander Sean Cross and a bell ringing for the fallen firefighters.
Local Boy Scouts stood under the American flag before and after the ceremony for a daylong “perpetual salute.”
“All through the ceremony there were little moments that made you proud to be an American,” Parker said.
The Glen Lake Fire Department in Leelanau County held its own memorial ceremony centered around a twisted piece of the World Trade Center. The service began at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
Glen Arbor resident and Record-Eagle columnist George Weeks said the ceremony’s speaker, retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Mike Lehnert, gave a full salute to the first responders in attendance.
“It was quite a poignant moment,” Weeks said.
The ceremony also included a special photo display by a local steelworker who volunteered at Ground Zero following the attacks.