September 01, 2011 by
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By David Levy-Fan Experience Reporter-Football Reporters Online
In less than ten days the New York Jets will have their season and home opener in the newly named MetLife Stadium. Rex Ryan is primed and ready to make another run towards the playoffs and the Jets first Super Bowl appearance in more than 40 years.
On a day where the team and its fans should be screaming from the roof tops may see it just a little quieter that Sunday. Where some will be shouting with joy, others will be a little more somber for remembrance on the tenth anniversary of the September 11th tragedy.
The New York Jets took a visit to the World Trade Center site yesterday, showing their respect to the site and appreciation to the workers that are rebuilding the hallowed ground. They visited the site after their annual luncheon at Ciprini on Wall Street to get a first-hand look at the rebuilding of a site where many lost their lives.
All players, coaches and front office visited the site, where they surprised workers during lunch. A trip like this for the Jets should give enough motivation and fill them with pride that they will represent New York on September 11th.
“It was a great morale boost for the thousands of construction workers that are there around the clock and our police officers and security workers,” PA spokeswoman Jamie Loftus said.
Dustin Keller was quoted as saying “Everyone was just kinda in awe”.
Asked why the Jets took the team to Ground Zero, Keller said: “9/11 is a huge part of the history of New York City. We’re the New York Jets, and we should know our history.” Several of Keller’s teammates Tweeted their experience after the visit on Twitter.
“It was really cool just to see — obviously, it’s been a while since 9/11 — the towers get back up,” tight end Dustin Keller said. “It’s hard to explain — so many people here lost family members or friends, or knew somebody. It’s kinda touching when you think about it, all the lives lost, and to get the building back up there … it’s awesome.
“Very humbling experience,” tweeted cornerback Antonio Cromartie. “Just walked out to see Ground Zero. A really heart felt experience God Bless everyone.” Many of the Tweets reflected heart felt emotions by the team.
It shows how powerful a took Twitter can be. Where one can express deep heart felt emotion and convey it instantly to thousands to feel for themselves. The teams emotions could be felt not just by those who read their tweets, but to the workers and other staff on site.
“When you think about the fact that 3,000 people got up that morning and all they wanted to do was go to work — they weren’t doing anything reckless, they weren’t taking any chances — they just wanted to go to work and they lost their lives. When you think about that, it’s hard not be moved,” Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said.
The quotes above come courtesy of Brian Costello & Steve Serby‘s article in the NY Post. The full article has more from the Jets and their visit to Ground Zero. Reading it may me wish I was there to experience it with them. I have seen the site before so I can understand their emotion in seeing it for the first time.
Sometimes the grimmest of tragedies and experiences make us hold our heads higher for the future. Perhaps it is good that the Jets will be home on Sunday, September 11th. After visiting the site, the workers, looking at photographs, and soaking it all into their hearts, perhaps they will play with a confidence and emotion they need to start the season.
The team must take pride in knowing they play for New York & New Jersey. They represent fans of New York and New Jersey. They represent those who not just bled green and white, but gave it all on that fateful day. To the fans in memory who watch from above and have the best seats in the house.
The fans at the game and watching on tv will not just be cheering their team, but cheering with pride. Remembering what that day means to all parties involved and to those family and friends each of us lost. Ten years may have gone by, but to some, it still feels like yesterday.
As I walk around the tailgating faithful, I am sure I will feel a different vibe amongst everyone. Many ready for the Jets to defeat the Cowboys, and others remembering the tragedies of that day. It will be a home game like no other. The feeling amongst fans will be a mixed bag. Some may not know how to react, if they should be cheerful or not. But all will be thankful they are together at a New York Jets game to share it with everyone.
So this September 11th, do not cheer just for your favorite team, remember those who lost their lives. The Jets will take with them their visit to Ground Zero next Sunday. Those emotions, thoughts, and feelings will be with them on the field, before the opening kick off and when the game is over. Sports has an uncanny way of bringing us together through tragedy. The past three years have seen many go through tragedy. Maybe Sunday’s remembrance is what we need as Americans to bring us all together again.
(Eds. Note: I remember that day well. I taught H.S. and Coached Football less then 1 Mile from Ground “Hero”….It was a difficult time for all)