Clinton Township to commemorate bicentennial, Patriot Day Sept. 11

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published August 31, 2018

File photo by Deb Jacques

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — This year’s Patriot Day ceremony in Clinton Township will be a little different from past years.

The annual day of remembrance, as a commemoration of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, is usually held on the grounds of Resurrection Cemetery.

However, Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon felt that a change of venue for just this year made perfect sense due to timing. This year marks the 200th year of existence of the township, so the ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. at the Clinton Township Civic Center, 40700 Romeo Plank Road.

Cannon said that Resurrection Cemetery would be incorporated into the ceremony, in addition to the customary measures that will be taken to honor all others who serve and have served. The ceremony will be coupled with the dedication of the new Bicentennial Fountain and a state historic marker, followed by a rededication of the Patriot Day courtyard.

It is a day of remembrance and, as Cannon put it, a “hometown thing.”

“We are pleased that we’re the only community we’re aware of anywhere that has, since day one, honored our folks who served, and anybody in uniform,” he said. “We’re going to continue doing that.”

An art centerpiece designed to show the three branches of the Clinton River will be part of the dedication, he added. He expects upward of 150-200 attendees that evening.

Resurrection Cemetery Director Tim Burrows said some of his employees will be on hand at the Civic Center, providing items such as flags. He’s letting Cannon and township staff take the lead, celebrating a special anniversary.

“The township has been a great partner, and we’re certainly proud to work with Bob and his staff, certainly any time we can honor the heroes,” Burrows said.

Clinton Township firefighter Adam Simon will be this year’s guest speaker. Nancy Feldbush, director of communications and editor-in-chief of the Historical Society of Michigan, will speak on the organization’s behalf. Aspiring firefighter Ashley Brouwer will sing the national anthem and “God Bless the U.S.A.”

As is customary, the Clinton Township Police Department Honor Guard and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 Honor Guard will partake in the ceremony as well.

Simon was chosen because he is a first responder with strong faith-based virtuosity, Cannon said, and he protects the community on a daily basis.

“Adam Simon personifies the entire fire department,” Cannon said.

Simon said Cannon asked him to be this year’s speaker on the night of this year’s primary election, which included a successful fire department millage.

“The word that comes to my mind is ‘honored.’ That’s a pretty special event every year,” Simon said. “There’s been some tremendous, incredible speakers who have come through. I certainly hope to honor that and am grateful for the opportunity.”

As for how the township got wind of its birthday, Cannon said it sort of came about by accident. When Macomb County announced its 200th birthday, Mount Clemens soon followed suit. He recalled asking Deputy Supervisor Liz Vogel about the township’s history and discovered a revelation.

“(Vogel) went and looked and said, ‘You won’t believe it,’” he said.

The exact date was Aug. 12, 1818. He said township officials looked into dedicating the new area Aug. 12, but the centerpiece was not yet complete, and he thought service members should take part in its celebration.

The supervisor said residents should be pleased to know they live in a community with great history, adding, “Two-hundred years is a long time. It’s a lot to be proud of.”