LANSING, Mich. — On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, elected officials, first responders and residents gathered in Wentworth Park for Lansing Remembers, a tribute to those who died.
“This day, the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, the day that changed all our lives is an opportunity,” said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor. “It’s an opportunity for us to remember the more than 2,900 innocent Americans who were lost that day, the 343 firefighters that perished, the 72 police officers who died in service, we honor not only their memories today but also their brothers and sisters in service.”
Officials read the names of first responders with ties to Michigan and laid a wreath in front of the monument to 9/11.
“I remember sitting there glued to the TV for days,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during her remarks. “Decades later, we’re all haunted by the memory of that day and inspired by the sense of community we felt in the aftermath.”
Speakers highlighted the unity Americans felt in the days and weeks after the attack.
“We donated 1.5 million units of blood in the first two days following the attack. We stood up for the American principles of freedom, tolerance, democracy and us united. More than anything that day, we were in awe of the courage of our first responders,” she said. “The official New York Fire Department response to 9/11 was just five seconds. Just five seconds to run towards the fire.”
Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly, shared her experience in New York City that day. She explained that she had just started graduate school and watched the the attack unfold with her classmates.
“We all went down to the local hospital, the Columbia Hospital and everybody donated blood,” she said. “New York City is not a warm and fuzzy place, it’s not a place where people talk to each other but for those two, three, four weeks, strangers talked to strangers. We helped each other.”
Slotkin highlighted the incredible amount of work in the years since that has prevented another terror attack on American soil.
“We have not had another major terrorist attack in this country and that is because of the people who are standing here, police and fire and first responders are part of a network that has protected us for 20 years,” she said. “If we don’t invest in that and care about that-- that goes away.”
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