Remembering 9/11 and the Cards

Posted by Darren Urban on September 11, 2009 – 8:09 am

Watching some of the ceremonies today for the anniversary of 9/11 brings back a flood of memories for me, just like I am sure for everyone out there. For me, many of them are Cardinal-related. The day of the attacks was a Tuesday. The Cards were supposed to play in Washington against the Redskins the following Sunday, and I was to stay in a hotel walking distance from the Pentagon. That trip, if you recall, ended up pushed back to the back end of the season, and the Pentagon obviously wasn’t all the way reconstructed by the time that first weekend in January rolled around.

The first road trip ended up being to Philly, still close to the area and we went only a couple of weeks later. Seeing the military personnel with machine guns everywhere in the terminal was unsettling, to say the least.

Being ’01, the Cards were still in the NFC East, so we also took a trip to play the Giants. I and three of my newspaper cohorts went to dinner in the city the Saturday night before the game and then decided to see Ground Zero afterward. It was mid-November, it was around midnight, and it was a surreal sight. Workers were still very busy clearing debris. What was left of the structure of one of the towers still climbed up in the air a couple hundred feet into the darkness, the temporary lights shining through the slits of the metal. With the dust of the site, it made for an eerie and — despite the noise of the work — still relatively silent situation. Flyers of the dead and the missing still were posted all over the place.

But for me, 9/11 was also about Cardinals safety Pat Tillman, even though I didn’t know it at the time. In those days, then-Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis still met with the press on Tuesdays, and besides, with a game approaching, it was going to be a story how the NFL handled things. So I went to the facility quickly, and sat in front of the TV in the media room watching the events unfold. Tillman eventually came in and sat next to me to do the same. Being a reporter, I had to ask him his thoughts. Part of what he said? “What we do is worthless … We’re actors.” He clearly had a hard time reconciling his job with the much bigger problems of the world at that time. Was joining the Army in his mind by then? I don’t know. But every year at this time, these are the things that come to mind.

And to those who lost their lives that day, and their loved ones — and those who have died fighting in the conflicts created from that day — our thoughts are with you.

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11 Responses to “Remembering 9/11 and the Cards”

  1. By vsancards on Sep 11, 2009 | Reply

    9/11 was a creepy day for me as well. I recall turning on the radio expecting hear sports talk and I hear “You just don’t attack the world trade center without expecting retribution” I was on the freeway at the time and those words really threw me. God bless all the troops putting their lives on the line in the name of our freedom.

  2. By steve on Sep 11, 2009 | Reply

    yes creepy is a word i never used for that morning..but it somehow fits….i had just left my 70something year-old father at ontario airport that morning going to the time i got back to the desert(palm springs) the first plane had already hit the towers….needless to say i saw the rest live as it happened knowing my dad had just taken off .. there was alot of chaos that morning with my family and i trying to find out where my dad was after they grounded the planes…it wouldnt be till hours later that he called from vegas…(his plane was rerouted there…just one mans story of how that day reached a little desert town out in the middle of nowhere… ps i hope paolumalu is ok…already hearing the madden curse has struck…

  3. By azkards on Sep 11, 2009 | Reply

    All I remember was getting up, on a “normal” work day, driving to work turning on the radio and hearing the news, crying and trying to continue with my work knowing how many people lost their lives. I watched a show the other night about 9/11 and it brought back those feelings, and some tears. Hard to believe that happened so long ago, and we are still at war. I had hoped my child could go a generation filled with peace……………. I hope his children will know a better world. Thank you to all that have sacrificed so much, and to those who still fight the fight.

  4. By Aaron Smolik on Sep 11, 2009 | Reply

    9/11 was such a weird day.At the time i was a delivery driver so i drove all around the valley and to look up and not see any planes or helicopts in the air that gave me a very eerie feeling.I have fanily and freinds who eiither were or are in the military god bless them all.If you see and public worker police fire medical just walk up and say thank you they put their lives on the line everyday and im sure they dont get the thanks they deserve.

  5. By steve on Sep 11, 2009 | Reply

    has the blackout been lifted??

  6. By Joe on Sep 11, 2009 | Reply

    I am originally from New York and a former New York City Police Officer. The precinct that I worked in was the 1st which covered the southern most tip of Manhattan. Needless to say, the World Trade Center was a part of my life every day for years. I have been in it a million times on calls, I’ve had friends that worked there as well as relatives. Thankfully the events of 9/11 did not take any family members from me, but I did lose some friends and aquaintences that day. I was scheduled to fly back to NY on the Thursday two days after the event, but airports were not sure about re-opening. Since I had a commitment, I had to be in NY, so I decided to drive, leaving Wednesday evening and arriving in NY on Friday evening. The entire drive was eerie, as there were banners across all overpasses throughout the interstates. Everywhere I stopped, people were all brought together by this event. It was like the entire Nation was crying at the same time. Strangers were friends, and though this terrible thing was brought upon our Nation, it brought people together as well. It’s kinda like the way the Cards brought this state together, I’ve talked to more strangers these past eight to nine months, just because they were wearing or had some kind of Cardinals logo on. Go Cards!! Can’t wait for Sunday, and please, please, please Keep the Madden Curse away from the Fitz. Hopefully Palamalo is the only one who will have to endure any of that and it’s taken it’s victim until next year!!!!

  7. By Richard Moore on Sep 11, 2009 | Reply

    9-11-2001, This date, and all anniversaries of it will undoubtedly live in infamy just as Dec.7th, 1941, the day that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor without notice, does. I shall never forget the sight of the second plane slamming into the tower, (the first was already burning when I became aware of the situation). I will never forget the towers shuddering and falling to the ground either, and the utter fear and desparation of the people of Manhattan at that time. I’ll not forget men like the police and firefighters who rushed in to help, and died. I will always remember Pat Tilman, who did not rush, but acted with purposeful, deliberate thought and
    courage. Our world changed that day, forever, and my prayers go out to ALL those who have suffered since.

  8. By Joe on Sep 11, 2009 | Reply

    I’ll never forget when I woke up that morning and I saw that on TV.

  9. By fitz 4 mt rushmore on Sep 11, 2009 | Reply

    My prayers go out to those people who lost their lives that fateful day and their families also. We live in a crazy world today & never know when our lives can be changed in an instant, tell someone you love them today!!!

  10. By Patrick on Sep 11, 2009 | Reply

    I am still effected and changed by 9/11 although each day and year gives a little more separation and the “creepiness” seems to fade. When I think of that day and the days that followed I think about how ever since I have had a different outlook on life. NFL Football and the Cardinals and Sun Devils consumed my life pre 9/11 but after that happened I honestly don’t even remember the Cards game postponed. Or much about that whole season. I remember the World Series as I was at the Game 7 here but other than that sports took on a whole new and lesser meaning in my life as did a number of things. Gradually over the past few years I have come back to the old ways but there is definitely still a part that will never come back…. the eeriness that will never leave… and the feeling that I will never forget.

  11. By Roger on Sep 11, 2009 | Reply

    At the time the first plane hit the first World Trade Center building, I was going down US 60 to my construction work site and the radio station had said it was a small aircraft that had hit it. I thought it was just a joke and then I found out what had really happened later on, that a commercial airline had hit the building. I was in shock and thought it had to be an accident, but presumed later, after the second plane hit the second building, that it had to be a terrorist attack, which in fact it was. I could not believe it was happening. All the construction workers kept tuned in to the radio through out the work day to find out the latest happenings. We all couuldn’t believe when we looked up into the sky there were no planes anywhere to be found – that was eerie, especially for the Metro Valley!!! When I got home I watched all the TV stations to see what really had happened and to find out who did it. I too will never forget the horrible scenes and stories on the TV screen that sad day 8 years ago. My heart is very sad today, as this morning my eyes welled up with tears as the same radio station, that I had listened to 8 years ago today tell of the horrible evil event, gave a tribute to all the people that lost their lives and to their families that have to endure the loss of their loved ones. I can’t imagine the pain the families have gone through all these years. May God bless all the people that lost their lives 8 years ago and may God give the familys the strength to move forward and let them know their loved ones are always with them in spirit.

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