Rochester Reflects on 9/11: Sheriff Brought Home Memories 'I Will Never Forget'
Bouchard recalls 'faces of people who had loved ones that perished.'
Memories of Sept. 11, 2001, are widely shared, but also personally distinct. So are reflections on the enduring impact of that life-altering day a decade ago.
Rochester Patch this week presents diverse perspectives from this area.
'We must not sacrifice our freedoms'
Oakland County Sheriff
Sept. 11 is seared into the memories of all Americans. It is still fresh in my mind since I worked at Ground Zero [as a rescue volunteer]. It also added new duties to my job as chief law enforcement official in Oakland County. Intelligence, terrorists and international threats are a daily concern for me. How can we prevent such an incident here? If it does occur, how do we respond and mitigate it? How can I learn lessons from tragedies elsewhere to then better equip and train my people?
Each day I worked at Ground Zero, I passed the faces of people who had loved ones that perished. They were standing outside the barricades, praying a miracle would bring their loved one home. I will never forget them and I hope to never see that pain on someone’s face again. I take that experience and focus it on doing all we can every day to remember the loss and strive to prevent terrible things.
As we do this, I also keep very firmly in mind protecting the freedoms that make this nation unique. We must not sacrifice our freedoms in the name of security. It takes constant examination, as well as the robust involvement of our citizens. As it has often been said: "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."
Sheriff Bouchard, in office since 1999, is a criminal justice program graduate of Michigan State with 24 years of law enforcement experience. After serving on the Beverly Hills Village Council from 1987-91, he was a state senator for eight years. Bouchard earlier was a police officer and small business owner. He is founder of the Oakland County Fallen Heroes Fund, which raised about $500,000 for families of New York police and firefighters killed on 9/11.