Eleven years ago, our freedom was violated in a fatal, destructive manner. But we did not elevate to that level of hatred. Instead, we stood together with our fellow men, women and children to protect our nation and to recover.
Yes, we grieved for the loss. Yes, we wanted to fight back. Yes, we did not understand that level of hatred. But, we forged ahead with that undeniable American commitment.
I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be a Veteran. I am proud to be a Detroiter.
As we remember the thousands of brothers and sisters we lost on September 11, 2011 and honor those who protect our freedom every day, we can be proud of what America means.
We can be proud that we get to choose where we want to live. We can choose how we want to live. We get to choose the elected officials who we want to lead.
With freedom, we have these choices. However, freedom, unfortunately, does not go without sacrifice.
Firefighters and police officers in New York City and Washington, D.C. ran toward the calamity, but they also keep running toward each crisis, no matter how small or large.
These men and women do not hesitate. When crisis strikes, they respond. Each one of them joined the force or fire department to serve and protect. It is in their blood.
As a former police officer, I understand their commitment. They get injured, they get battered and bruised, and may lose their lives to ensure our safety. And without a second thought they would do it again and again.
I have a heavy heart for their sacrifice -- I believe every American does.
It is no secret that Detroit is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. We had to make some tough financial decisions this summer and will have to make more.
I emphatically support the commitment, dedication and heart of every police officer, firefighter and EMS technician who works in Detroit. They are selflessly protecting Detroiters and they are ready to serve every person who visits Detroit.
There are countless stories of heroics by the men and women in uniform -- whether, police, fire, EMS or military.
Forever we will remember what occurred on September 11, 2001.
I encourage you to honor the service of all our public safety members, active military and veterans. A simple "thank you" when you encounter them will go a long way.
I also challenge each one of us to remember how we put all our differences aside and stood together as one following the September 11 tragedy. If we can do this, our country will become even greater.
Never forget and God bless America!
Follow Gary A. Brown on Twitter: www.twitter.com/garybrown4det