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Fort Gratiot in Saint Clair County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Memorial

 
 
The 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Memorial - side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., September 21, 2015
1. The 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Memorial - side 1
Inscription.
Side 1
This Memorial is dedicated in the memory of:
Manuel AbastaRomualdo Alvarez
James BeesleyRoswell Brown
Keith VernerGerald Curtis
Walter WoodsCharles Epperson
Donald FogalDonald Williams
Kenneth HawesVernerd Woolstenhulme
Frank PolkJames Reighard
Gary RoehmClaybourne Simpkins
Glen VernerGuillermo Taran
Donald HardelRaymond Comeau
Martin LaretzPatrick Dingman

Side 2
Dedicated on 11 December 2006, the 35th anniversary of the worst industrial accident in Michigan history. At approximately 3:11 pm on December 11th 1971, the lives of 22 men ended in tragedy. The lives of the families, friends and community changed forever. this memorial honors those men who gave their lives to bring clean drinking water to most of southeastern Michigan.

Isaiah 56:5 "...to them I will give my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters. I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off"

Side 3
Construction of the tunnel
The 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Memorial - side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., September 21, 2015
2. The 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Memorial - side 2
project began in 1968 and was completed in 1973. During the 1st phase of construction: Daniel Gassam & Ellis Grant lost their lives while working at the site of this massive tunnel project. They along with the 22 other men were working to bring clean drinking water to the surrounding areas.

On December 12th 2002, a small committee was formed with the intention of memorializing this tragic event, intending that not one more year would pass before our loved ones were formally honored for their sacrifice. Our hope is that this memorial will bring much needed closure to family and friends of 22 brave men that we unknowingly said goodbye to for the last time on December 11, 1971. On behalf of the 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Committee and it's supporters, we dedicate:

The 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Memorial

Side 4
This day we forever honor and set in stone the names of our husbands, brothers, fathers and sons who gave their lives to build the Detroit Water Tunnel...they were our heroes, may they never be forgotten.

Isaiah 61:2-3
..."To comfort all who mourn, to console those mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness: that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified."

 
Erected by
The 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Memorial - side 3 image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., September 21, 2015
3. The 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Memorial - side 3
1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Committee.
 
Location. 43° 4.931′ N, 82° 28.196′ W. Marker is in Fort Gratiot, Michigan, in Saint Clair County. Marker is on Park Road east of Michigan Highway 25, in the median. Click for map. The memorial is in Fort Gratiot County Park. The entrance to the park is about 0.1 mile east of M-25 on Metcalf Road. The park road is unnamed, but is a loop, with the memorial about 0.3 miles into the park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3325 Lakeshore Road, Fort Gratiot MI 48059, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lake Huron Water Supply Project/Tunnel Explosion (here, next to this marker); Seeing the Light (approx. 5.7 miles away); Fort Gratiot Light (approx. 5.7 miles away); The Storm (approx. 5.7 miles away); Learning from Lake Huron (approx. 5.7 miles away); Sending a Signal (approx. 5.7 miles away); Keepers Duties (approx. 5.7 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Gratiot Light (approx. 5.8 miles away).
 
Categories. DisastersIndustry & Commerce
 
The 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Memorial - side 4 image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., September 21, 2015
4. The 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Memorial - side 4
The 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., September 21, 2015
5. The 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Memorial
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 111 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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