America honors 9/11 heroes in the midst of division and anti-police brutality protests

On Friday, Americans watched ceremonies honoring those firefighters and police who ran into harm’s way that terrible day – meanwhile, nationwide, the day to mourn our count first responders comes a time of and frustration between police and communities of color.

For the past three months, images from that division have included videos of violent clashes between police and demonstrators, often agitators mixing in with Black Lives Matter Protests.

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What comes to mind when you see the two?

FOX 5 visited communities in the District, Maryland and Virginia on Friday to see what people are thinking.

A few people, especially those in their early 20s, described the to contrasting images as “weird.”

“I was in 3rd grade when that happened so I was wondering why, what was going on,” said Adrian Willis.“I believe every profession, it just has bad people. People are bad in America, that don’t mean the whole profession is bad.”

“It’s hard to think about because I think you really – it’s a lot more weight to the issues of our foreign policy and how we are kind of this horrendous police force in other countries and everything we see on our own soil, and it’s like this grave injustice that’s happening here, that’s something that’s something we’ve done elsewhere and like we’ve never really reconciled that as a country,” said Erik Hirschman.

“Of course 911 a sad thing for Americans, for the nation. That, I kind of want to say that was then and this was now. How can we move forward, just like we did in 9/11. How can we move forward to better relations between the police and the public?” Mark Tucker wondered.

Eric Guy in Maryland, tells us he is a Marine Veteran who does not compare the two, and he is honoring those 9/11 heroes and reflecting on Black Lives Matter Protests.

“Two totally different animals," said Guy, “What we went through there was mainly. What we went through on 9/11 was an attack on our country. What we’re going through now is an implosion of our country.”

Kurt Hesne says he does not support calls to defund the police that have swept through cities nationwide in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

“It’s a shame the way things are going these days. The way all the separation and everything instead of everybody uniting together,” Hense said.

While some remark on first responders. Others are looking at leadership, politics and lessons that can be learned.

“There are challenges now as there were challenges then and although um, I wasn’t the biggest fan of George Bush, I think he helped the country lead those challenges a lot better,” said Frank Leone.

“As citizens, we have to use our logic and not forget about actual facts and not color the facts we want,” said Lilit Ghazaryan.

In D.C., the firefighters’ association president spoke to encourage the members who recall the events of 9/11 or those who, more recently, experienced the era of COVID-19 and protests for racial justice.

Remarking on the sacrifices those police and firefighters made on September 11th, IAFF Local 36’s Dabney Hudson commended the men and women of DC’s fire department today for putting aside differences, or with family sick at home, still working to take care of their communities.