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There was plenty of emotion, and both teams and the fans honored heroes always there to help.
They stood together in unison on both sides of field as Yankees and Mets players proudly honored first responders by sporting FDNY and NYPD caps, just two of the symbolic gestures marking the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
“I think it’s extremely powerful when we can get together, especially coming together in times like we’re obviously going through right now, and to see everybody again in the stadium rooting for their teams and respecting one another, it’s huge and that’s what sports do,” fan Brendan Ebbitts told CBS2’s Thalia Perez.
Complete Coverage: 9/11 Twenty Years Later
Following the Sept. 11 attacks, professional sports was cancelled, but only temporarily, and coming back was our way of showing everyone that we were strong.
Former players reminisced about the first Mets game versus the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 21, 2001, at Shea Stadium. It was the first sporting event in New York City following the attacks.
“So to play in the game during that time in that moment, as sad as it was and as awful as that event was, it’s one of those markers,” former Met Al Leiter said. “That was the Band-Aid, but we were part of it.”
Mike Piazza hit the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth, and everyone agrees that game was so much more. It was part of the healing process.
“Just trying to soothe the hurt a little bit in any way possible to try to get, to help everybody get through everything,” former Met Steve Trachsell said.
Pain, they say, that runs just as deep 20 years later, but they hope will continue to be comforted by the game as time moves on.
CBS2’s Thalia Perez contributed to this report.
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