Remembering 9/11 And How Sports Helped Heal A City And A Nation

On this day fifteen years ago, our City, and our Nation mourned the terror attacks that took place in New York. Many lives were unjustly taken, and it happened on our own ground. The entire Nation came together and grieved the loss, and we saw unwavering heroism from first responders and all involved. As the towers collapsed and lives were claimed New York had never been so dark. The City that never slept was dark, and hurt. The Nation as a whole felt as though it would never recover from such a shocking and disgusting act.

The Yankees did their best to help ease the the grieving in a city where thousands of families had been torn apart. They went around and got to meet with victims and their families. Though, it would never bring them a peace of mind. The Yankees proved to help ease some amount of pain. Derek Jeter in particular was able to meet a little girl who had lost her father in the attacks. The mother said that after her daughter got to meet Jeter. She saw her smile, laugh and sing again as she did before the attacks.

The Yankees are obviously one of the most hated franchises in sports. Outside of their enormous fan base the Yankees are among the most hated in sports. Due in part to their rich history and tradition of winning; however, 2001 was different. The Nation stood behind the Yankees, and the Yankees games were something people used to forget about what was going on, and just focus on the present and the Yankees. The Yankees marched through the post-season and gave New Yorker’s and fans across the Nation something to believe in.

The Yankees were for once not the hated “evil empire” and they played through one of the most energetic and dramatic post-season runs in baseball history. People across the Nation fell in love with the core four, and key players like Paul O’Neill, Bernie Williams, and Scott Brosius among many others. 

It was a post-season run that crowned Derek Jeter, Mr.November and when unlikely players would won over the hearts of millions when they rose the occasion. Exemplifying the exact principle of New York City. Even when things didn’t seem possible, or things got tough. They always came through.

The 2001 Yankees played through adversity that no other team has ever had to face. Through the attacks and carrying an entire Nation of fans on their backs. They gave everyone something to believe in, and it proved to possibly be the most entertaining World Series in baseball history. The Yankees showed an entire Nation what this entire Country stood for. The courage and strength of the Yankees defined and embodied the spirit of America through their post season run.

Fast forward fifteen years later, and the Yankees are due to square off against the Tampa Bay Ray’s on the fifteenth year anniversary of the attacks. No members of the 2001 team remain, but their spirit and the Yankees tradition lives through these young Baby Bombers. The Yankees have made an improbable run at the playoffs this season, and on this fifteen year anniversary. The Kids are showing a resiliency and the courage of a team that the 2001 Yankees would be proud of. 

The Yankees tradition defines the strength of this Country. When something happens to somebody then another hero emerges to pick them up. That is the courage and the strength that the Yankees tradition has been built on, and the very fabric of our Nation’s unity.

On this day we remember all the innocent lives that were lost, and we will never forget the attacks that took place on that day. We will also never forget how the Yankees helped ease the pain of an entire Nation through setting an example of their resiliency and courageous efforts. They built up a new hope and gave people a reason to smile even in the darkest days. That is the definition of Yankee tradition, and on this anniversary we mourn the loss of innocent lives, and celebrate the strength and unity of our Nation when times got tough.


Author: David Rinehart

Die hard Yankees fan! Grew up rooting for the dynasty the Yankees built in the 90's.

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