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'We remember who we are': Gov. Whitmer, other Michigan leaders reflect on 9/11

"Two decades later, we're haunted by the memory of that day, but inspired by the sense of unity we all felt in its aftermath," Gov. Whitmer said of Sept. 11.
Credit: wzzm

With Saturday marking the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Michigan politicians and leaders are speaking up to honor those who lost their lives that day.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a video statement remembering the way US citizens came together after the attacks, and encouraging Michiganders to stand together.

"Two decades later, we're haunted by the memory of that day, but inspired by the sense of unity we all felt in its aftermath," Gov. Whitmer said. "There was a feeling after the horrific events of 9/11 that we were all in this together."

Attorney General Dana Nessel captured a similar sentiment in a statement her office released Saturday, urging Americans to come together again:

“Like millions of my fellow Americans, I greet this somber anniversary feeling like the tragic attack on our country happened just yesterday. I vividly remember hearing about the first plane hitting the North Tower as I appeared to prosecute a case that was beginning jury selection in Wayne County’s Third Circuit Court. I can still see the small TV we gathered around in the clerk’s office as we watched the second plane hit. Recognizing the magnitude of what was playing out before our eyes didn’t take long, and the fear of what could happen next quickly set in – a feeling we learned to live with in the days, months and years that followed. 

"Today we will all watch replays of those terrifying scenes from 9/11 and its aftermath. We will remember the nearly 3,000 precious lives lost, and the countless others who have since died because they ran toward danger to protect their fellow Americans and our freedoms. We will also mourn the country we knew before the attack, understanding it was a turning point in our nation’s history. 

"As I reflect on 9/11, I’m reminded we are once again experiencing devastation, though of a different kind. The pandemic continues to grip our nation, and the unity we once shared – regardless of political parties – seems to diminish with each passing day. 

"It is my fervent hope this 20th anniversary can serve as an example of what we are capable of when faced with unfathomable tragedy. I recall the fear I felt that day, yes, but I also recall the way in which our nation came together to prove our resiliency to the world. 

"I long for that solidarity. Not for ourselves as individuals, but for our loved ones, our communities, and for those who will someday learn about this moment in time and ask how we managed to overcome some of our darkest days.” 

Senator Debbie Stabenow said that by coming together, Americans can "truly honor" those who sacrificed their lives on 9/11:

“This September 11, I’m thinking of all the lives we lost 20 years ago and the families who loved them. We will never forget the first responders and military members who sacrificed so much then and continue to do so to this day.

“20 years ago, lawmakers gathered after the attacks and we went to the steps of the Capitol to sing God Bless America. That spirit of unity should not be forgotten. On a day like today, we must put politics aside and renew the spirit of national unity, cooperation, and public service that rose in response to that tragic day. In this way, we can truly honor those we lost and remember the sacrifices of their families.”

For Congressman John Moolenaar, the anniversary of Sept. 11 has shined a light on the first responders protecting the American people:

"Today, we honor the men and women who lost their lives twenty years ago during the tragic events of 9/11. This is a time to remember, reflect and come together to memorialize the innocent. We will never forget the heroic first responders and courageous citizens in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., who took action and made the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of countless people. My prayers go out to all who grieve, and I give thanks for the millions of courageous men and women who serve our communities and our country every day."

Senator Gary Peters adds that the anniversary should be a call to action for supporting the nations heroes: 

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