This Sunday is the 10-year anniversary of one of the saddest days in American history, 9/11.
All through this week, you have probably seen or read all of the different tribunes of that day. As for me, it was a day in which started out normal, but like all of us it changed the way we live, forever.
Back then, I was a freshman at MTSU, and I just joined the campus student newspaper, “Sidelines”. The day before I had just received my first assignment, and I was busy doing research, while going to class and working at a popular grocery store chain. The whole sports staff was working on stories since MTSU football, which just went to 2-0 after wins over Vanderbilt and Troy State had an off week.
The next day which was the 11th, I had an eight o’clock class. I went to it, and it seemed like just another day. However, on the way to work, I started to hear on the radio the reports of the airports being shut down. In the meantime, I really could not make out what was going on.
When, I got to work, I noticed everybody was in a variety of moods, some of upset and others were sad. As my shift went on, customers that came through my checkout line were filling me in on the twin towers being knocked down and the other attacks in the northeast.
After work, I headed straight to the Sidelines office, in which I finally got to see for the first time what had happened earlier in the day. These were co-workers, most of them I had never met, except for the sports editor which at that time was Colleen Cox. We spent the next few hours trying to gather as much information about the attacks from several different angles. My job was to help find out if all of the professional leagues, college conferences, and local sports were going to cancel that day’s events. Most of them did, remember this was on a Tuesday. A couple of days later, most of the weekend’s sporting events including MLB and NFL games were postponed.
So instead of cheering for our favorite team that weekend, it was one for reflection and understanding that there are more important things in this nation than sports. However, when the time was right sports helped us as a nation heal and get back to normalcy. Even through, we knew that life would never be the same.
Of course, we had a tremendous World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees. That year’s Super Bowl was won by a team that I cheered for since I was a little kid, and I never, ever thought the New England Patriots would take home the Vince Lombardi trophy.
A few weeks later, a whole world came together with the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Out of all of the memorable sporting events I have seen either on TV or in person in my lifetime, those 17 days in February of 2002 topped my all-time list. It was great to be an American. One of those US gold medalists, skeleton athlete Jim Shea Jr. came to MTSU, a couple of months later and all in attendance got to touch that gold medal he proudly won for his family and country.
Now almost 10 years later, times have changed some for the better, but at the same time we also wish we can go back to Sept. 10, 2001. I miss those days.