Benton Harbor hosts 9/11 ceremony remembering first responders

NOW: Benton Harbor hosts 9/11 ceremony remembering first responders

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- Officers from Benton Harbor and St. Joseph were joined by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police for a 9/11 ceremony at Resiliency Plaza – a spot dedicated to remembering all first responders who died because of the attacks. 

“We are a fraternity – firefighters, police officers EMS – and to have lost life of our brothers and sisters is very difficult no matter where they are,” said Dan McGinnis, Director of the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety.

Each of the past 20 years has been somber.

Today, they’re using it as another opportunity to connect with their fellow officers.   

“Benton Harbor, Benton Township, St. Joe city and St. Joe Township – we do work together and it’s getting better and better – so I want the citizens of Berrien County to know that spirit of unity is an operation in their first responders and I’m very proud of that,” said McGinnis.

Congressman Fred Upton also made remarks remembering the heroes of 9/11 and recounting being in one of the spots where attacks happened.

“I was there not only going through the Pentagon parking lot that morning, but later going through the smoke to do the song that we sang, God Bless America, and then a few days later up to New York where we were still hoping to find survivors,” said Rep. Upton. 

While acknowledging the issues we’re facing both at home and overseas, they reminded the crowd that Americans are still as united as they were on that day. 

“This is still the best country on the planet,” said Upton.

“That’s what makes the United States of America so great,” said McGinnis. “Because we’re a melting pot that all comes together as one.” 

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