Sadness, frustration and anger erupted Saturday night into a scene in downtown Grand Rapids not seen since the '67 riots. Cars were burned, windows in many buildings smashed, and several businesses ransacked and looted. It was scary, tragic and heartbreaking explosion of violence. What had happened to our city? 

As Sunday dawned, so much of the devastation could been seen and you realized how much work had to be done to bring our city back. That's when the goodness of Grand Rapids began to show.

An army of volunteers filled downtown Grand Rapids Sunday to clean up the damage left by rioters. People were joining together, to not only help in the clean up, but to say, not my city! Not my people! The acts of a few miss guided persons would not bring this city down. Let's clean it up, bring it back, and make sure this doesn't happen again!

Be alert, however. For the next 48-hours, the city has declared a civil emergency and enacted a curfew, from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., and the city is asking for people to not gather in large groups.

WOODTV8 reported messages from the city, and others:

@CityGrandRapids
We appreciate everyone’s support to help clean up our city early this morning. We’ve made remarkable progress. While we appreciate those who are interested in joining organized volunteer clean-ups today, we respectfully ask that individuals not gather in large groups downtown.

Rosalynn Bliss
@mayorbliss
My heart is lifted as I make my way through downtown with hundreds of people helping clean up our city. This is our Grand Rapids.

Come on Grand Rapids. Show your love and spirit. We're better than what happened Saturday night.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app