Detroit leaders gather to honor 9/11 victims, first responders

It's a day to put our differences aside and unite as Americans, as we remember the day that changed our country and our world forever. Communities and families continue to rebuild and heal.

It's the day so many can't help but remember vividly, nearly 3,000 people losing their lives while 6,000 others were injured.

"No matter where we were or what we were doing on that day, Sept. 11 shaped us all profoundly," said Rainer Drolshagen, acting special agent of FBI Detroit.

On Wednesday, a procession of fire trucks and police vehicles lined Woodward Avenue at Campus Martius in downtown Detroit as the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks were remembered on this 18th anniversary.

"It certainly was a day of tragedy, a day of pain, but it was also a day when first responders were called upon to act and help their nation in a significant way, and they answered the call," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Craig, Fire Commissioner Eric Jones, Mayor Mike Duggan and many others were there, also honoring those we've lost in the line of duty here at home.

"We thank you and we will never forget the sacrifices your loved ones made and we will always remember the heartache that you continue to suffer," Jones said.

Along with those who put their lives on the line daily.

"The men and women of the police and fire department are EMTs, who are the ones responsible for driving this city's comeback," Duggan said.

Chief Craig also discussed one of our nation's biggest, on-going problems: domestic terrorism.

"As of September 3 of this year, there were 289 mass shootings this year. Yes, right here in America," he said.

Now in a "constant state of readiness," he says the 9/11 attacks have not only changed the way our country and our city responds to terror. but it has also strengthened the bond between all Americans.

"The level of fortitude, patriotism and empathy that resounded throughout this country sent a strong message to all: we will not be broken," Craig said.