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9/11: Macomb Marks 10 Years With Tears, Thanks, Lanterns (September 11, 2011)

From sunrise until long after the full moon rose on Sunday, Macomb County residents observed the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with prayer, song, fellowship and even floating flaming lanterns at Metro Beach Metropark.
A number of churches included a Sept. 11 theme in Sunday celebrations, while several public gatherings will held including in Clinton Township, Mount Clemens and Warren as area officials and residents mourned those killed in the attacks and paid tribute to their hometown first responders.
“It really touches my heart because all of this comes from the heart,” said Evelyn Scafuri, a retired Detroit public schools teacher who attended an event at the D.S. Temrowski Funeral Home in Warren.
Funeral home operator Dave Temrowski hosted a dedication of a new flagpole and unveiled a commemorative bronze plaque in honor of the “lost souls of 9/11.” The funeral home is widely known in the community for providing services for police and firefighters.
“You know who you are and you don’t ask for thanks or accolades,” Temrowski said of the public safety sector. “You just say ‘I am just doing my job,’ but today we as a community say thank you, thank you, thank you.”
The plaque outside of the funeral home carries a message that reads “Dedicated to those we lost and those who carry on 9-11-2001.”
“I just wanted to be here,” Wrobel said. “It’s just a sad day, all those lives lost. It was just a real bad day for America.”
At the Warren City Hall, the city and the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice told a crowd of about 1,000 that the country’s unity in the days following the attacks has largely dissipated into racial and religious name calling including “Islamophobia.”
Iman Steve Elturk, a member of the ICRJ’s executive board, said Americans’ distrust of Muslims in the years after 9/11 continues to grow — and that’s wrong, considering a number of Muslims were among those trying to save victims of the World Trade Center incident.
“It is absurd to accuse all Muslims of being terrorists,” Elturk said. “America is for whites and blacks and all colors in between … it is this diversity that makes America so beautiful.”
Warren Mayor James Fouts, who has pushed for racial and religious diversity in City Hall, vowed to keep public facilities open to all faiths and races as long as he’s the city’s top elected officials.
“In my mind, any terrorist attack is one word: cowardly,” the mayor said. “And anyone hiding behind the Muslim religion is even more cowardly.”
During the event, a female member of the Warren Mott High School Marching Band collapsed in the 80-degree heat. She was given water on the spot, and then treated by Warren paramedics in attendance.
During the event, a female member of the Warren Mott High School Marching Band collapsed in the 80-degree heat. She was given water on the spot, and then treated by Warren paramedics in attendance.
Meanwhile, Warren also honored its first responders as Police Commissioner Jere Green introduced the department’s two officers of the year, Sgt. Steve Mills and Detective Robert Eidt, for their investigation that led to an arrest in the stabbing death of Robert Miller at the Maple Lane Condominiums in 2010.
Also, Fire Commissioner Skip McAdams announced the promotions of 17 firefighters in the department.
First responders were also the focus of a candlelight vigil at the Macomb Heroes Memorial, which was dedicated on Sept. 11, 2010, on Main Street in front of the Macomb County Circuit Courthouse in Mount Clemens.
The names of 30 Macomb police officers, firefighters and paramedics who died in the line of duty were read out aloud, with a bell ringing after each one.
Among those in attendance were relatives of Omer “Jim” Reygaert, 34, a Romeo police officer who was killed by gunfire in 1969 as he and a partner tried to apprehend a shooting suspect.
“I’m sure he would be glad to see this and to know all of them are remembered,” said his wife, Dorothy Reygaert, who attended with the couple’s daughter, Denise.
The largest crowd of the day came Sunday night as an estimated 3,000 showed up at Metro Beach for an evening of music and written tributes.
Under a moonlit sky, hundreds of participants ignited floating lanterns that gently sailed into the night as a tribute to those who died in 9/11.
Dean Bartlett of Harrison Township brought along his daughter, Kaylie, and his girlfriend Angela Sopha to take part in the ceremony.
“9/11 touched us a lot, hit home with my dad being in the service,” Bartlett said. “It was an event we have seen once in a lifetime and hope it never happens again.”