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September 18, 2013

Patriot Day ceremony marks 12 years since 9/11

By Sherri Kolade
C & G Staff Writer

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Patriot Day ceremony marks 12 years since 9/11
Leah Brancheau, president of the Ladies Auxiliary for the American Legion Groves-Walker Post 346, passes out red scarves during a Sept. 11 Patriot Day ceremony at the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion at Riley Park in downtown Farmington.

FARMINGTON — Janice Hall didn’t plan to cry Sept. 11.

But the Farmington woman did, just before the rain came in, while the playing of taps rounded out the annual Patriot Day ceremony at the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion.

“I never cry,” she said during the ceremony. “But hearing that sound …”

The sound was a solemn nod to remember the victims and honor the first-responders who died after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City.

The American Legion Groves-Walker Post 346 of Farmington, along with the city and Farmington Hills, presented the event, led by American Legion Cmdr. Cliff Luzon.

Farmington Hills Fire Chief Corey Bartsch said that while it is necessary to never forget all the lives lost during the attacks, it is just as crucial to remember the good things.

“I’ve talked, and asked you to remember how we came together as neighbors, as a community and as a nation,” Bartsch said to the attendees. “How we treated each other with respect. All that became apparent after the tragedy. I continue to challenge each and every one of you to carry on those traits. To never forget some of the good that came out of it.”

During the event, the American Legion also recognized personnel from the Farmington Public Safety Department and the Farmington Hills police and fire departments.

Bartsch presented the Firefighter of the Year award to Farmington Hills Staff Lt. J. David Feichtner.

Farmington Hills Police Chief Charles Nebus and Farmington Public Safety Director Robert Schulz recognized Farmington Hills Detective Michael Flatt and Farmington Sgt. Reginald Madeline.

“After 9/11, we stood together strong and united, as Americans,” said Joel Storchan, second vice commander for the American Legion Groves-Walker Post 346, in a press release. “It’s important to keep those feelings of patriotism alive today.”

Nebus said that although the attacks changed many people, the spirit of America is still present.

“Patriotism is alive,” he said before the crowd. “We have much to be thankful for tonight.”

He added that Americans can sleep soundly, knowing that men and women are standing vigilant to protect them.

Hall said it’s sometimes easy to get used to that feeling of protection.

“(The armed forces) keep us safe, keeps the country safe,” she said. “They put their lives on the line every day. You forget about that sometimes. You take it for granted.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sherri Kolade at skolade@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1046.