Never Forget

Stangelo’s Standpoint

Drew Stangelo, Chief Sports Editor

t has been 20 years since the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and Flight 93 in Somerset County, Penn., in which nearly 3,000 people lost their lives [343 of which were first responders].
A low-flying plane crashed into the North Tower just before the nine o’clock hour. Eighteen minutes later, a second plane flew into the South Tower at 563 miles per hour, all while many Americans watched in shock and disbelief. About 30 minutes later, a third hijacked plane flew into the western façade of the Pentagon, again with almost all of America watching in terror.
America was under attack.
This moment in many people’s lives can be described as a “flash bulb” moment: a moment where one can remember every little detail.
Many remember the exact weather that day, where they were, and what their immediate reaction was. Simply asking my parents, teachers or coaches what they remember that day unlocks a rash of distinct and precise memories that are filled with clear-cut imagery and great stories.
However, as we reflect on the anniversary of the attacks, I believe it is important to not only remember the heroes that gave their lives that day, but also remember the spirit and patriotism that followed. After the attacks, Americans came together. No matter the race, gender or political party [all things that seem to divide us today], the country seemed to collectively gather as one and fight for one cause.
As an avid baseball fan, I can’t help but think of Mike Piazza’s famous walk-off home run just 10 days after the attacks. Democrats and Republicans alike jumped in pure happiness, grateful to be distracted by some sort of normalcy in a time that was anything but. I also think of President George W. Bush’s first pitch in the 2001 World Series, just over a month after the attacks. When President Bush fired a perfect strike, the crowd erupted.
It’s hard for me to imagine that someone in the stands that night would be thinking about Bush’s foreign policy or his stance on a certain issue. They were simply cheering because they realized it was a great moment for the comeback of the country.
This is the spirit that we need to have more of in our society today. Regardless of what political party you support or what beliefs you have, I think it is imperative to remember the spirit and the patriotism the entire country rallied around after the 9/11 attacks — and try and remember that each and every day. Not only will this strengthen us a better nation, but it will also make the men and women who sacrificed their lives that day proud.