On September 11, 2011 -the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City, collapsed the E ring of the Pentagon and saw the heroic actions of civilians on the doomed United airlines flight 93- the Washington Redskins will face the New York Giants in their season-opening football game. Many have questioned whether or not football should be played on such an emotional and hallowed day. I have one absolute answer for them. Yes.
In fact, I think there are few better tributes than to play one of the most American sports on such a day. Maybe tribute is the wrong word. Statement would be better. Tributes will be the observances in which we as a nation remember the fallen and reflect on the horrific events of that fateful day. The statement made through these football games is that we are not going to stop the activities we love on account of the threat of terrorism and that we are moving forward.
I only wish that September 11 was the NFL season opener. I also wish that the Redskins-Giants game was the only game being played; in New York. Both cities shared the brunt of the attacks, mourned and healed together with a wounded nation. It would have been fitting that the season began with them, in New York. However, I digress. The fact they are playing against each other is a fitting matchup. One that is bittersweet for the commonalities they share, and for depth of their rivalry. It is indeed the right statement for such a day.
I will miss the first part of the game. It is by choice though. I along with thousands of other Reservists will be performing our monthly duties. Those of us not deployed overseas that is. I might catch some of the game on the radio if I am lucky. If I don’t, I won’t mind though. I can’t think of any better way to spend such a day, wearing the uniform of a service member, knowing that my fellow countrymen can watch the Redskins (or any other team) in peace.