9/11 and the Healing Impact of Sports
Posted on 11 September 2012 by DigitalSports
It is hard to find anyone who doesn’t remember where he or she was when two jumbo jets struck the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, bringing a collective shock to the country and the world. How could this happen? Who would commit such a devastating act? These questions and many more rocked communities far and wide and eleven years later, the effects, the trauma, and the scarring remain.
Many of us were in classrooms, office buildings, or at home pouring a cup of coffee when this tragic event occurred. After it was determined a non-accidental crash, fear gripped New York City and the nation as a whole. The thought of passenger jets being operated as missiles sent chills down the spines of people in major American cities. Everyone was on heightened alert – as they should’ve been.
When the towers collapsed after intense burning from jet fuel, NYC was left devastated. Over 200 floors of solid metal had crashed down onto the once bustling city streets; the wave of smoke and debris engulfed everything in its path; and the number of casualties reached gargantuan proportions.
Nearly 3,000 people perished that day, including more than 400 FDNY and NYPD officers who risked their lives trying to save so many of the civilians in and around the towers; nearly 200 in the attack on the Pentagon; and all 44 people died when Flight 93 crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, when an extraordinarily brave attempt by passengers hindered the terrorists from reaching their destination in Washington, D.C.
Many of the things in our lives became infinitesimal on that day. And even now, as we hit the 11-year anniversary of this impactful event, it helps us continue to put things into perspective. We remember what brought us together on that fateful day. Biases, political motives, egotism, and petty arguments disappeared almost instantaneously. But perhaps one of the most significant factors that brought us together was the world of sports.
In the grand scheme of things, sports are insignificant. We choose to root for a team or a player because of our competitive nature and because of our love for a particular game, not because our life and well being depend on it.
With that being said, all sporting events took a backseat on the days following September 11th. What warmed the hearts of so many were the sports organizations’ high degree of respect to have a short memorial speech and a moment of silence before the games, in honor of all those who had lost their lives. Every sports team across the country participated.
Sports have allowed us to move on from tragic events like 9/11. They give us something to talk about and something to connect with each other about. They give us something to be grateful for. For many, sports have brought us together. We were able to get back to living our lives, which for a lot of us included watching and arguing about sports.
While we may have lost a battle on 9/11, we were victorious in doing what we do best, which is living life and holding our heads up high when our nation is faced with adversity. Where the towers once fell, new towers are now rising. Towers that epitomize the notions of stability, strength, pride, and prevalence.
It has been 11 years. And just like the players who fight tooth and nail in their respective sports and who continuously get knocked to the ground, turf, or ice, we know how to get right back up when we’re knocked down.
We will never forget.
~ The Team at DigitalSports