Jets Players Gain Perspective From Ground Zero Visit

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/ACromartie/status/108969819486961665″%5D

Yesterday after the Jets luncheon at Cipriani Wall Street, the team headed over to Ground Zero to see the site and to meet with some of the laborers who are working on recovering and rebuilding the site, ten years after the collapse of the buildings on 9/11.

“It was a very enthusiastic welcome from these workers who are going around the clock to complete this project,” said Jamie Loftus, chief spokeswoman for the Port Authority.

Jetsright guard Brandon Moore said players were completely unaware of visit until they got on buses after the lunch.

“It was a poignant trip,” Moore said. “Helped get us out of our preseason bubble.”

Mark Sanchez’s father, Nick, a fireman from Orange County, Calif., who spent several weeks assisting with the recovery in 2001, expressed admiration and gratitude for the team’s gesture.

“I tip my cap to them as an organization for taking the time from their preparation for the season to honor the people involved,” he said. “I think it’s a wonderful thing.”

I was watching some programs on 9/11 that National Geographic Channel has been running recently, and was in tears remembering those days … not sure if my friends and family in both New York and DC were alive or dead.  Talking to my cousin who saw the events unfold with his own eyes, and how seeing it irrevocably changed him … seeing him choke up, tears welling up in his eyes as he related the story, and not be able to even finish explaining what he saw … emotion overcoming control of his own vocal chords.  How that day caused such pain and heartache in the lives of so many, for a cause I’ll never understand.  Of course, this wasn’t the only such terrible event in the last 10 years, but it was one of the darkest days in the United States’ and certainly New York City’s history.

That was a moment I can never forget, and some of the guys who are now on the team were just 11 or 12, living in Florida or wherever, when that happened.  Does it have the same impact for them?  As Moore said, it was a good chance for the Jets to get out of their bubble, and I hope that it will give them some focus and appreciation for just how important September 11th is to fans of the Jets.  It’s still just a football game – but in some ways, it’s also a lot more than that.

110829-F-SV144-14