CANNONSBURG TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - Cards attached to some of the 32 hundred flags that make up the Healing Field at the Cannonsburg Ski area tell the story of the victims. And many of those names carry the title "Firefighter", "Police Officer" or "Paramedic".
On Saturday, Healing Field organizers honored first responders, including the ones who gave their lives on September 11th, 2001 and the ones who still answer the calls for help today.
"They never know what challenges and danger each day will bring." said Honorary Healing Field Chairman Art Johnson as he recognized dozens of first responders from all over Kent County.
In the ski area parking lot, fire engines, ladder trucks, police cars, ambulances and armored vehicles were lined up as officers gave spectators tours of their vehicles and answered questions about their jobs.
"It's emotional for me.... it really is... to bring this back to reality again." said Sparta Fire Chief Jerry Bolen.
More than 10% of those lost in the twin towers were New York firefighters and paramedics.
"I think people do realize the impact, at least they look at it once a year. Unfortunately, I think they need to look at it year around," says Bolen. "The fire service took a real wallop. 343 firefighters died that day."
72 police officers from the N.Y.P.D., Port Authority Police and other agencies were killed in the attacks as well.
And while the tragedies happened far away from West Michigan, the people on the local front lines say the hearts and souls and drive of those who died and those who were honored Saturday is the same.
"They ran into those buildings. They climbed the stairs they saved lives. It's something I don't think you can train for. It's got to be something that's inbreed in somebody that has a desire just to serve others." says Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk.
"They're all here to do the same job. They all do the same job. They don't hesitate. They go in they get it done," added Bolen.
Police are investigating a report of a home invasion, but say there are inconsistencies.
Police say they haven't been able to find out which student was responsible after a Muskegon kindergartner was choked with his own scarf on the playground.
Two people were hurt when a car and delivery truck collided Wednesday morning.