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19 years ago today our world changed in a profound way. America was attacked from within by people who shared like but different views from our own.  9/11 was a tragedy of epic proportions. It caused us, as a people, to unite against an enemy that threatened our very existence.  A bond was created amongst us.  For a time, there was no white, black, brown, red etc. We were all Americans, united and working as one people.

I remember that day as I’m sure many of you do. Scheduled to work at 10:00 am I was getting my uniform on when the first plane struck the tower.  I stared in disbelief. “It had to have been an accident, somebody made a horrible mistake.” Then came the second and the third and the fourth and the realization that we were once again, at war.  But why? The answer was simple, ideology!

Call it what you will. Fanaticism, lunacy, idealism etc.  It was perceived by our attackers that they could achieve change and justice by terror, fear and destruction.  It was met with a resolve and determination that was unparalleled and unmatched.  We are facing the same today. The players have changed but the tactics are the same as is the message. Change by any means necessary.

Let’s work together, as one people, to make the changes. Rather than work towards exclusive let’s work towards inclusive.

September has been declared Childhood Cancer Awareness month on both a State and national level.  Let’s break it down:

  • Every day 43 children (ages 0-19) are diagnosed with some form of Cancer
  • Childhood cancer survivors are twice as likely to suffer from chronic conditions
  • One in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they reach 20.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under 19 in the U.S.
  • Despite these facts only 4% of the annual budget of the national cancer Institute is dedicated to childhood cancer research.
  • Internationally, 300,000 cases of cancer affect children every year.

In recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month the lights on the State St Bridge will be turned to yellow for the month of September.  Gaze at the lights and keep someone you have known that has been lost to this scourge in your heart.  Consider making a donation, on their behalf to a charity of your choice.

I would like to take this opportunity to say “THANK YOU” Eaton Rapids for supporting our 24 hr kayak event on the 29th and the 30th. Dozens of folks paddled with me and came to watch the movie. We raised over $1,400.00 in cash donations and an equal amount in school supplies.  The weather was perfect. I have never paddled the river in the dark. The only illumination was provided by the moon, the stars and the lights on our bridges.  It was a great time and our community showed up to offer support and help our kids.  Again, I offer my humble thanks.

As always, I bid you peace.  Thank you for all that you do to support the City Council, or department administration and our city employees.  You are the reason that we are here.

Best always,