Rockford partners with national group for Healing Fields 9/11 tribute

Flag sponsorship underway

by BETH ALTENA

Photo by STUDIO D2D

“We all have a 9/11 story,” said Sue Bodenner, one of the organizers of the West Michigan Healing Fields, which will remember and honor those lost 10 years ago in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Bodenner, along with chiefs of local fire departments, members of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, Rockford Police and local Boy Scouts, unveiled plans for West Michigan Healing Fields tribute and memorial.

Bodenner heard of the Colonial Flag Foundation’s Healing Fields projects and brought the idea to members of the Rockford Area Community Endowment (RACE), who took on the project as a good fit for the organization and for West Michigan. On Wednesday, May 11, before television cameras and news reporters, the West Michigan Healing Fields plan was officially presented.

Cannonsburg Ski Area, 6800 Cannonsburg Road, Belmont, will be the site of 3,200 American Flags representing each one of the people whose lives were lost on September 11.

“The memorial we are here to talk about began as a simple way for one person to visualize and comprehend the sheer enormity of human loss that occurred in the terrorist attacks,” said Art Spaulding, honorary chair for the West Michigan Healing Fields, chairman and CEO of United Bank and former chairman of the American Bankers Association.

Photo by STUDIO D2D

Spaulding said, to him, the Healing Fields bring to memory the bank’s legal team, who were located in the twin trade towers and who all perished that day.

Area resident Jack Vander Baan described the loss of his daughter, Barbara Edwards, who was on the flight which terrorists crashed into the Pentagon.

The memorials will be open 24 hours a day and include several planned events, including a Salute to Heroes to honor rescue personnel and first responders, a memorial service held by the American Legion, moments of silence in commemoration of the crashes of the American Airlines and United Airlines flights at 8:46, 9:03, 9:43 and 10 a.m. on September 11 and a “Lessons Learned” expression of tribute by West Michigan students, including poems, essays, visual arts and music composition.

Individuals, businesses and groups are invited to participate by sponsoring a flag—which can be dedicated to an individual—for just $75. After the memorial events, the flags can be kept as a continuing tribute.

Photo by STUDIO D2D

“This is a very exciting opportunity to recognize the anniversary of this event,” said RACE member and former Rockford mayor Neil Blakeslee. “As tragic as it was, this was one of the most important events in the history of our country and certainly affected people locally.”

In addition to sponsoring a flag, which is limited to the 3,200, limited opportunities for higher levels of sponsorship exist, from Independence Sponsor at $500 to a Freedom Sponsor at $10,000. For more information or to purchase a flag, visit healingfield.org/west-michigan-2011.

 

Other Stories from the Squire

Top News…

Michigan ChalleNGe cadet meets Dale Earnhardt Jr. ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Respect, hard work, … [Continue Reading...]

Attention veterans! A call to action. Please stand for those who have fallen.   The Moving … [Continue Reading...]

The Rockford Girls’ Lacrosse team has been ranked number one in the Division One poll for most of … [Continue Reading...]

By JOHN HOGAN Rockford - and most of West Michigan, became a water wonderland last week as a … [Continue Reading...]

More Posts from this Category

In Other News

Knowing Your Competition   by David Broyles SCORE Counselor   Regardless of … [Continue Reading...]

Downtown Rockford was as busy this sidewalk sale week as in past years, despite a heat index of over … [Continue Reading...]

Rockford resident, writer and photographer John Hogan shared this picture with the Squire. The … [Continue Reading...]

David S. Fry

They wrote the book on cottage law—literally Recently, Attorney David S. Fry opened the … [Continue Reading...]

More Posts from this Category

Speak Your Mind

*