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Healing Field in Michigan Honors First Responders

CANNONSBURG TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD NBC 8) — Cards attached to some of the 3,200 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.”