By DANIEL HERATY
DEARBORN – With the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaching, Dearborn will mark the occasion in a familiar way.
Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. announced at the regular City Council meeting Aug. 8 that the city will hold a Remembrance and Unity Vigil on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
The memorial will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 on the lawn in front of The Henry Ford.
Following the attacks, the city held a Peace and Unity Candlelight Vigil Sept. 19, 2001 in the same location, under the clock tower at what is now called The Henry Ford.
“There was a lot of confusion in the national and international press, so we wanted to demonstrate to people that Dearborn is one community and we stand side by side,” City spokeswoman Mary Laundroche said. “We had representatives from different religious backgrounds, Congressman Dingell, then-Mayor Michael Guido, and community groups performed songs.”
Laundroche said the ceremony is still in the development stage as of press time, but officials are working with many different community organizers, including the Dearborn Area Ministerial Alliance and the Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services.
“In 2001, the University of Michigan – Dearborn was a partner,” she said. “We hope to be able to have some type of role for them in the ceremony as well.”
The Rev. Fran Hayee of Littlefield Prysbeterian Church is spearheading the development, along with DAMA. She said the ceremony has been in development since late May or early June, and meetings are still ongoing to determine the events.
“We’re still working on it,” she said. “It’s shaping up well. There will be interfaith participations from Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths. It will be a gathering of people who care.”
Residents are invited to attend the ceremony. Parking will be free.
Laundroche said this year’s ceremony will not be exactly the same as the original one, but will focus more of looking ahead, rather than looking back.
“We hope to be reflective and also to look forward, so we want remembrance to be a significant part of the ceremony,” she said. “We want to convey a sense of optimism about the future.”
(Daniel Heraty can be reached at [email protected].)