The first Sunday of the NFL season is supposed to be a happy day.
After all, the long off-season, the dog days of summer, and the anticipation of camp and preseason are all behind us. Real, meaningful contests of the sport we all love are back.
But this day is conflicted at best.
Along with our joy at the return of football, we also stand silent on the fifteenth anniversary of one of the most terrible days in many of our lives, and America's history as a whole. September 11, 2001 defines the current generation in the same way that the assassination of JFK and the attack on Pearl Harbor defined previous generations.
Days of infamy, to paraphrase President Franklin Roosevelt.
In memory of the attack on September 11th, several Giants have taken to Twitter before starting their pre-game rituals.
-- There will be a special ceremony before kick-off --
Some were simple, some more
9/11— Devon Kennard (@DevonKennard) September 11, 2016
Never forget the brave men and women we lost on 9/11 and the people who sacrifice so much to keep our nation safe pic.twitter.com/z11IqFTbzm— Matt LaCosse (@Mattylac11) September 11, 2016
Never Forget. 9/11 #15years https://t.co/Cr4Xx4r6d0— Victor Cruz (@TeamVic) September 11, 2016
9/11 What does that mean to me? It is a day to remember all the people that lost family members, children that lost their parents, the brave firefighters, policemen and emergency responders that risked their lives to help others. I was not in NY when it happened but I remember sitting in class in middle school, and when I turned the tv on, everything went silent. Over time I started to understand the significance of what happened that day. Being a New York Giant has given me a different perspective on how important this day is not only to the state of New York but to the rest of the country!!! It is to pay tribute to those that lost their lives on that day, especially the families who's lives were forever changed. Life is precious and we must appreciate what we have. #neverforget #GodBlessTheUSA
Never forget— Mykkele Thompson (@MykkeThom2) September 11, 2016
#Giants - We Never Forget- #9/11 #Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted - Matthew 5:4 pic.twitter.com/GLpT9eyjSr— William Beatty (@willbeatty65) September 11, 2016
We will never forget those who lost their lives on 9/11 and the families that must continue on without them. pic.twitter.com/eEkcXGCofe— Natnael Berhe (@NatBerhe) September 11, 2016
Almost everyone has a "9/11" story. Anyone old enough to remember that day remembers where they were, what they were doing.
Myself, I was in a school. It was the first or second week of 10th grade for me.A friend broke the news early in the day that planes had crashed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
At the time, we didn't know what to make of it. Was there an accident? Was it a hoax, some sort of prank? But as the day went on, the whole school knew SOMETHING had happened, but the faculty was mum on the subject until 1:00. That was when the principal addressed the school over the PA system, officially confirmed the terrorist attacks, and announced that we would be dismissed early. At the time, I didn't know why they had waited so long, kept such important news from us. Looking back, I understand better; I grew up in a small bedroom community about 90 miles north of The City. Quite a few kids had at least one parent who commuted down to New York to work. Springing that kind of news could have created panic at a time that was already confusing.
But I will never forget riding the bus home, trying to console a scared and confused sixth grader who's parents both worked in Manhattan.
I will never forget the lives lost that day, nor the sacrifices of the first responders.
And I will never forget the lessons of that day and the days since.