WMU-Cooley Law School Associate Dean Michael C.H. McDaniel was the keynote speaker during the Grand Rapids Community Day of Remembrance and Scout Salute, an event honoring those who died and the first responders who went into action during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Each Sept. 11, following the attacks, the Boy Scouts of America President Ford Field Service Council and the West Michigan Community Day of Remembrance Committee mark the day by offering an opportunity for all individuals to participate in ceremonies from dusk to dawn on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Public Museum.
McDaniel, himself an Eagle Scout, which is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America, is a retired Brigadier General who served as deputy assistant secretary for Homeland Defense Strategy, Prevention and Mission Assurance at the Pentagon. He previously served as homeland security advisor to Michigan’s governor and as an assistant adjutant general for homeland security for the Michigan National Guard.
“Seventeen years ago, Osama bin Laden’s terrorists, using hijacked planes as weapons, killed 2,977 people in a single awful raid on the United States. The al-Qaeda attack horrified and angered the nation, but also caused Americans to rally together as they had not done since Pearl Harbor,” said McDaniel as he spoke to nearly 2,000 individuals in attendance, predominately Boy Scouts and their families, along with police officers and firefighters. Speaking directly to the Scouts in attendance, McDaniel said, “We ask only that you do your best to do your duty to God, country and community, and to yourself, in service to others.”