PROOS: Remembering the lives lost on 9/11

On Sept. 11, 2001, we saw one of the greatest losses of life in our history — yet out of the sadness, smoke and ash we emerged united as Americans.

It is a testament to our true spirit that when our liberty is attacked like it was on 9/11, we come together to meet that challenge.

America is the home of the free and a beacon of liberty for the rest of the world. Although the tragedy of 9/11 will forever be etched in our minds, it will also forever be a day that reminds us that our freedom and way of life are worth defending.

I encourage all area residents to join me in paying tribute to the brave first responders who showed extraordinary courage during 9/11 and to say thank you to the outstanding local heroes who are ready and willing to respond at a moment’s notice.

I will be attending 9/11 remembrance services this year in Benton Harbor and Buchanan.

We will always remember the selflessness of the United 93 passengers who sacrificed themselves to prevent further tragedy, and the fearless first responders who ran into the twin towers to save lives — often at the cost of their own.

We will also always remember the two honorable Southwest Michigan officers who were killed while protecting the public at the Berrien County Courthouse two years ago.

My thoughts and prayers remain with them and their families.

Out of tragedy we are reminded of blessings that God has bestowed on our nation. I urge that we look forward with optimism, knowing that if we each do our part, our country and the world will be a better place.

To our firefighters, police officers and brave soldiers who protect our communities and nation every day, I commend you all for your courage, dedication and service and give you each my deepest heartfelt appreciation.

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