Kanigowski said the experience of throwing out a ceremonial first pitch on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States was “very emotional.”

Kanigowski said the experience of throwing out a ceremonial first pitch on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States was “very emotional.”

Photo by Allison Farrand / Detroit Tigers


Roseville fire chief throws out first pitch at Comerica Park on 20th anniversary of Sept. 11

By: Brian Louwers | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 18, 2021

Advertisement

ROSEVILLE — The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States claimed the lives of 2,977 people. That number included 343 firefighters, 23 police officers and 37 Port Authority officers in New York City.

On the 20th anniversary of that tragic day, Chief Brian Kanigowski, of the Roseville Fire Department, was invited to throw out a ceremonial first pitch on behalf of all firefighters before the Detroit Tigers met the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park.

Kanigowski was joined on the mound by White Lake Police Chief Daniel Keller, throwing on behalf of all police officers, and Kristin Kasten, a communications supervisor at Huron Valley Ambulance’s dispatch center, throwing on behalf of medical responders.

The event honoring first responders was organized by the Detroit Tigers and Belfor Property Restoration.

“Very emotional,” Kanigowski said of the experience. “When I got the ball, I pointed at the firefighters. I said, ‘This is for you guys,’ especially through COVID, the work they do every day. It’s amazing, their bravery.”

Kanigowski, 51, of Sterling Heights, was joined at the game by his wife and about 25 Roseville firefighters.

“It was a somber time, being 9/11. It was just nice for us all to be together at one venue,” Kanigowski said. “This was an absolute true honor to represent all firefighters in the country. What an honor.”

Belfor CEO Sheldon Yellen was the catcher for the three ceremonial first pitches.

“The world will never forget the ultimate sacrifice these brave men and women made 20 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001, and we owe it to our heroes today to give them a little thanks and recognition,” Yellen said in a prepared statement. “Every day is game day for our heroic first responders, and it’s an honor to recognize them along with our friends at the Detroit Tigers.”

In a Detroit Tigers press release, Tigers Senior Vice President of Corporate Sponsorships Peter Kent added, “Everyone remembers where they were when the tragic events of 9/11 took place. It’s important to remember and honor the brave men and women who lost their lives 20 years ago, and those that continue to serve and protect us each and every day.”

Advertisement