This recollection of the 2001 home opener just a month after 9/11 was sent me by Annoying Joe…
I was at the home opener in 2001, a month or so after the attacks. I had purchased the tickets a few days before 9/11, and I actually forget about them until maybe a week before the game.
At the time I was working at a hospital in western Suffolk County. In the hours after the attack, we began to move viable patients to hospitals east of us in anticipation of taking on patients from Nassau, Queens, and Brooklyn as they took on the massive casualties of the attacks.
As the minutes and hours dragged on, there was no massive influx of casualties. The nature of the attack, coupled with the miracalous evacuation and bravery of the emergency personnel left no middle ground. I will never forget standing amongst 20 or so empty ICU beds with my colleagues and the absolute quiet and stillness as we stared up at a television screen to watch the sun set on a war torn lower Manhattan.
I remembered the tickets. I went into Manhattan. I walked from Penn Station south as far as I was allowed before being turned away by NYPD. As I turned to head back uptown, I stopped and marvelled at the absolute quiet and stillness of a Manhattan street. A quiet and stillness that was only disturbed here and there by the sound of debris being pushed along the curbs by an errant wind, the gray ash that remained of rock and stone and steel and bone, even a month later. There was no middle ground.
The ceremony was moving. The moment of silence punctuated by a single scream of “United We Stand!” We stood and cheered. USA! USA!
Leetch won it it OT.
I went home and went to bed.
The next morning, the first thing I saw were my shoes, beside my bed, once white now covered in gray.
For more on the 2001 home opener click here.
Reader Icycup sends me a link to an article over at Hockeybird which recounts the experience of George S. Phoenix, III of Garfield, New Jersey on 9/11.
Finally, reader acourtz e-mailed me this video of Yellowcard’s “Believe” which was written as a tribute to the lives lost in 9/11…
I continue to receive 9/11 tributes, memories, songs and more. Please keep sending them as I will continue to post them until the 10th Anniversary on Sunday. For more on what I’m looking for click here. I think this is a great way to honor those who were lost that day. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.