Silence spoke louder than words Friday morning at Campus Martius Park, where dozens of Detroit's first responders joined the country to remember Sept. 11, 2001, when nearly 3,000 people, including more than 400 police officers, firefighters and paramedics were killed.
“You know, I was in New York several months before that, and several people I went to training with died that day. So I think about them at 9/11 every year,” Detroit Police Assistant Chief Steve Dolunt said.
As police officers, firefighters and medics stood shoulder to shoulder in silent salute, fire engines, ambulances, mounted patrols and police vehicles went around the park.
During his remarks, Mayor Mike Duggan thanked the men and women.
“This has been a really tough year to be a cop and incidents can happen anywhere, but I’ve been really proud of the way the officers in the Detroit police department have handled themselves, and our firefighters and EMS, you just have not seen some of the issues you see in other places," Duggan said.
Detroit Fire Commissioner Edsel Jenkins told them to remember the spouses and children of the first responders who died on 9/11, and encouraged them to cherish their own families.
“We’re all just flesh and bones, and they need to take each day they have with their families and enjoy it, because you never know when it might be your last day and you make that last run,” Jenkins said.
The annual ceremony was co-hosted by the Detroit police and fire departments.