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9/11, frontline heroes honored at Mizel Institute 2021 Community Enrichment Award Ceremony

Dignitaries at Empower Field for the Community Enrichment Award being given to Joe Ellis
Posted at 10:02 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 02:07:29-04

DENVER — Just a week before the 20th anniversary of the tragic Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Colorado leaders gathered at Empower Field to honor Colorado's contributions to the rescue efforts and the efforts to keep Americans safe ever since.

"I was in the firehouse watching the plane hit, the second tower get hit," said Bryan Hanson, a former firefighter who traveled to New York to help recovery efforts. "I was extremely honored to be asked to attend. It is a great event to recognize the people who went to NYC and the front line workers after."

Colorado leaders, like Gov. Jared Polis, senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock spoke about what police, soldiers, medics and frontline workers mean to keeping cities, states and countries safe 20 years after 9/11.

"So many people lost in the biggest terrorist attack on American soil in history," Polis said. "It’s a time for solemn observation, and it's also a time for rededicating ourselves to the path forward to keep America safe."

Leaders called for Coloradans and Americans to come together to honor people who have died to keep others safe.

"We can have our political difficulties, we can have our political differences," Bennet said. "In a moment like this to capture that sense of unity, and that's why I think it's very appropriate for us to be here today to commemorate 9/11, the 20th anniversary of that terrible tragedy.”

The event also honored Bronco's President and CEO Joe Ellis for his work to support first responders and frontline workers.

"We at the Broncos will use our platform to celebrate first responders, strengthen community relations, encourage dialogue and thank these remarkable men and women for all they do," Ellis said. "Along with the military, it’s our police officers, firefighters, paramedics, healthcare workers, medical professionals, teachers, grocery workers, delivery drivers and many others on the front lines who are our true heroes."