Farmington ceremony marks 9/11 anniversary

As they remembered the victims who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, local police and fire chiefs on Tuesday also talked about the victims who are still dying.

Speaking at the annual American Legion Groves-Walker Post Patriot Day ceremony, Farmington Public Safety Director Frank Demers, Farmington Hills Fire Chief Jon Unruh and Police Chief Chuck Nebus all referenced the hundreds of emergency workers who are suffering, or have died, from cancers and other illnesses related to the chemicals and toxins in rubble at the World Trade Center.

Nebus shared information from a news article about FBI agents who have died from cancers that are linked to the time they spent investigating. Thousands of people with 9/11-related illnesses have applied for compensation through a fund for victims.

Demers said those workers would likely have responded the same way even knowing the future risks.

“My guess is, even if they did know (what lay ahead), they would run in and get the job done,” Demers said.

The American Legion also during the ceremony presented its Farmington and Farmington Hills Police Officers of the Year, and Farmington Hills Firefighter of the Year awards. They went to:

Sergeant Richard Friess
From left, Farmington Public Safety Director Frank Demers looks on as American Legion Post Commander Dale Baxter presents Sergeant Richard Friess with his award. 
Farmington Hills Fire Department EMS Coordinator Jim Etzin
From left, Fire Chief Jon Unruh looks on as Dale Baxter reads Farmington Hills Fire Department EMS Coordinator Jim Etzin’s citation. 
Farmington Hills Officer of the Year Phil Andrews
Farmington Hills Police Chief Chuck Nebus (left) introduces Police Officer of the Year Phil Andrews.

Held at the Walter E. Sundquist Farmington Pavilion, the event was emceed by Mark Zeigler of Heeney-Sundquist Funeral Home. Miss Farmington 2018 Megan Cromwell sang the National Anthem, and local emergency service workers and Boy Scouts provided a color guard.