Ferndale Remembers September 11
A memorial ceremony was held at Memorial Park on Tuesday morning organized by resident Ron Gilmour.
A group of Ferndale firefighters, police officers, city leaders and residents gathered for a 9/11 memorial ceremony on Tuesday morning.
Ferndale resident Ron Gilmour, who organized the ceremony, said the event was about remembering, about hope and about giving thanks to those who provide safety.
Gilmour, a trustee for the Ferndale Memorial Association, has been organizing the service each year since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
"I do this strictly as a citizen," he said. "It started with just a few of us gathering each year in remembrance and it's kind of grown from there."
As for why he does it? "It's very simple: To remember the lives that were lost and to give thanks to our first responders," Gilmour said.
"So often we as citizens take our first responders for granted," he said. "This seems like the perfect day to meet to not only remember those who parished but to say thank you to those who ... put their lives on the line every day without even thinking about it."
Gilmour said Sunday night, when West Bloomfield Police Officer Patrick O'Rourke was tragically killed in the line of duty, is a prime example of how lives can change instantly.
During the ceremony, the memorial bell tolled 11 times at exactly 8:46 a.m., marking the time when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the first tower. Pastor Paul Gateman from Zion Lutheran Church in Ferndale said a prayer.
"I for one am indebted to all those that gave all, and those that risk all, for my safety and yours," Gilmour said.
Gilmour provided coffee and doughnuts at the Ferndale Fire Station following the ceremony.