Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley's Remarks in Remembrance of the Sept. 11 Attacks
— Sept. 11, 2020, Milwaukee War Memorial
Good morning and thank you for joining us for this morning’s ceremony on a day of deep reverence and remembrance.
Like many Americans, the sights, sounds, and feelings I experienced on September 11 are indelibly etched in my memory. I’ll always remember where I was when I heard the news that would change our nation forever.
Today, we honor the lives of the nearly 3,000 souls lost, the survivors and surviving family members.
We express gratitude for the first responders and other everyday heroes who ran into the face of danger and risked, or sacrificed, their lives to save others.
And finally, we remember the strength and resilience Americans showed when we came together in a time of tragedy.
Ultimately, the fear that gripped us on that day did not win – our hope for the future of our nation won.
It was the optimistic spirit of the American people that brought us together and moved us forward.
19 years later, we find ourselves trying to move forward in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The crisis we face today is a reminder that keeping our residents healthy is an integral part of public safety and I’m proud of the work Milwaukee County has done to respond the pandemic and keep our residents safe.
Months ago, we created a unified emergency operations center to respond to the public health crisis and serve as the cooperative body amongst the 19 separate municipalities in the county.
Our Office of Emergency Management was designed to lead in this way, turning four separate, siloed divisions of county government into one, centralized department -- paving the way for the mission-critical coordinated radio and 9-1-1 response systems we rely on today.
Even with all we’ve done to prepare for and respond to the pandemic, the lessons of September 11th show us that unity is one of the strongest weapons in our arsenal right now.
In these unprecedented times we can find inspiration in remembering how our nation came together in the wake of tragedy to re-build what was destroyed.
While there may be those who seek to divide us and exploit the current crisis for their own gain, we must hold on to our shared optimism for our future once again.
Just like we’ll never forget the lives lost and sacrifices made on that fateful day, we must never forget how when faced with the ultimate test we came together and rebuilt our country back stronger than it was before.
When we sow seeds of division, hatred, and small-mindedness, we fall.
When we sow seeds of love, hope, and optimism, we soar.
In an unprecedented year, I hope that this anniversary will reawaken our responsibility to stand together, show compassion for our neighbors and, in the face of the challenges that loom, remain united in our desire for peace, freedom, and equality for all.