September 11, 2001 is not just a day to remember where you were and what you were doing, but it is a day for all of us to express our gratefulness as a nation. It is also a day for us to remember those who lost their lives and to support those who have to deal with their loss every minute of every day for the rest of their lives.
Love him or hate him, President Bush's first pitch at the 2001 World Series was one of the most powerful moments in the history of sports. At that moment in time our country was never as devastated and scared, but along with those fears, our country was never so united.
Sports fanatics and fans still had their favorite teams and players, but nobody hated anyone. A Miami Dolphins fan was clapping as a NY Jets player ran across the field, proudly carrying the American flag. Red Sox fans were standing and clapping at the very same time as Yankee fans. It was a short time in our lives where everyone was on the same page, everyone helped one another, and everyone knew how rich in spirit our country really was.
Thousands upon thousands donated money, prayed for those in need, and dedicated their lives to making a difference.
Our blue skies never looked so pure, our rain drops never felt so refreshing, our grass never looked so healthy, and our hearts never felt so warm. People looked all around their own lives and realized what a great life they had. Freedom was appreciated, tears were passionate and not stereotypically cowardly, and nobody cared anymore that their team missed the playoffs.
It is a rather simple fact of life that people get worked up over the little things in life. How can we not though, our days are extremely fast-paced and lubricated with people around us who want to get through the day even faster than you.
Why though? Why are we so excited for tomorrow when so much can happen today?!
It is easy for people to comment on other writers' pages or articles and not care what one says. Why would you? You don't know them, and will probably never meet them, so who cares?
People who "hate" other schools only do it because they are jealous or don't know enough about them other than rumors that spread. It is the very same reason that people hate teams, coaches, and players whom they have never met and know virtually nothing about.
It is these ridiculous assumptions that cause problems in the world and cause so much hate and spite amongst our global society.
I am not suggesting that rooting against or disliking opposing teams is wrong because it isn't, but overreacting and acting as if your world has caved in from every direction when your team loses is a pathetic way of you not accepting the reality of life.
Sports are fun, sports are exciting, sports cause happiness and sadness, most importantly, though, sports unite people from every background, religion, and class. Even if it is only for a mere three hours per week, it matters...sports are a weekly tradition that we can use, just as President Bush did, to unite.
It is really easy to be ignorant and selfish, but it is even easier to reach out your hand and give support to someone who needs it.
So when you are watching your favorite teams this weekend as I will also be doing, think twice about using hateful words. Look around you, look at everything you have. When you high-five a neighbor or friend, be grateful of the love that circles around you.
If your team loses a heart-wrenching game, keep your head up and heart open. While you may feel embarrassed or upset that your team lost, think about those on 9/11 who lost much more than a game.
I am so very thankful that we have sports to sweep us away into another world that helps us escape from a sometimes hectic life, but I am even more grateful for living in a nation where I can so freely express my opinion or write an article just like this one.
Stay passionate, cheer for your team with everything you have, and lastly...do it together. Remember that a game is just a game and if your team's loss is the worst event of your day, I'd say you have quite a bit to feel thankful for.
September 11, 2001 is not just a day to put your flag out on the porch or listen to patriotic tunes, it is a day in our past that we can learn from to better our future. It is a day to acknowledge and give love to all those who lost and all of those who sacrifice so that you and I can rest easy on our couch enjoying what we do, sports.
Never forget 9/11... never forget the price many have paid for our freedom... and never forget that in the end, we are all on the same team.