Brighton Area Fire Chief Mike O'Brian began the community's 9/11 Tribute Ceremony Tuesday night with a moment of silence for Livingston County resident and West Bloomfield Officer Monday.
This is the second year the Brighton Area Fire Authority has hosted a 9/11 remembrance ceremony since the new addition of the World Trade Center steel memorial. This year's gathering was on a much smaller scale, with about 100 attendees.
"It's not necessarily about a big pomp and circumstance," O'Brian said. "There were countless cars that have stopped by today and I think that's really what this monument is about - trying to give people a place to remember and tell the story that steel has to tell. It doesn't have to be done by some big ceremony."
During the ceremony, the bell in front of the station was rung in fives, four separate times, symbolizing the end of service for the 343 firefighters who were killed in New York on 9/11. Fire gear was also laid on the steps of the memorial.
"Firefighters gear is probably the biggest symbol that people recognize us by," O'Brian said. "It's not our patch, it's not our badge, it's our fire truck and turnout gear. And that gear serves as a symbol to those who have fallen. It's us paying our respect here at the steel for that."
Rep. Bill Rogers (R-Brighton) said remembering 9/11 is extremely important.
"People stepped up to the plate and that is the moral fabric of this country," Rogers said. "We truly believe in what we do, how we do and why we do. And we are that free society and we want to help those that need help. That's what these people did. That's why remembering is always important.
Livingston County firefighters and chiefs representing Hartland, Howell, Green Oak Township, Putnam Township, Hamburg Township and Milford showed support by attending the tribute. The chiefs were responsible for the laying of the wreath at the memorial to end the ceremony.
"We are the keeper of that piece of steel," O'Brian said. "From our standpoint, it's not our piece of steel, it's the community's, it's the fire community's and that includes our brothers and sisters that our neighboring us. And we want them to be part of it. It's important that they're here. And it shows that this isn't a Brighton thing, it's a fire service thing."