Everyday heroes remembered

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published September 12, 2017

 Shirley Steigerwald, from Madison Heights, holds a photo of her niece, Lisa Marie Terry, who died in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Shirley Steigerwald, from Madison Heights, holds a photo of her niece, Lisa Marie Terry, who died in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Photo by Donna Agusti

ROCHESTER HILLS — A first responder answers an “uncommon calling,” Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony at the city’s Fire Department.

“This is the place where our community honors the events of Sept. 11,” Barnett said, standing near a World Trade Center steel beam placed near the American flag on Horizon Court. “It is a constant reminder of those that lost their lives, but also of those who risked their lives.

“That spirit was also on display last week in Texas and yesterday in Florida,” Barnett said, referring to hurricanes Harvey and Irma. “When evacuees go north, first responders go south.”

“These men and women put themselves in situations we would walk away from,” Rochester Hills City Councilman Kevin Brown said. “Rushing into uncertain and dangerous situations. It happens thousands of times and rarely makes the news.”

“Their commitment to be the best is worth a moment of reflection,” Rochester Hills City Councilman Dale Hetrick said.

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, triggered emotions of shock, sadness and anger — culminating with love, state Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, said, “as we saw the courage of the first responders running toward danger to serve their fellow Americans,” he said. “We will never forget them.”

The ceremony included the national anthem sung by Stoney Creek High School student Sidney Rayba.

“I am proud to live in a community where we reflect on the tremendous service of our first responders,” state Rep. Michael Webber, R-Rochester Hills,  said. “Thank you for keeping us safe in Rochester Hills.”

Paul Wright, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 3472 president, issued bell signal 5-5-5-5, historically sounded to signify a fallen firefighter, while lowering flags to half-staff.

“Four hundred and eleven emergency service personnel lost their lives on this day,” Wright said. “Rest easy, brothers and sisters.”