Following the events of 9/11 it would seem to most that the NFL continued, business as usual. But for any of you who sat in NFL stadiums during this delicate time of grief and healing in our country, you know there was something different. It didn’t come as a mandate from the commissioner or some other policy developed on the fly. It was simply Americans doing what came naturally.
Grown men in tears, passionately sang the national anthem before a United States Flag the size of the football field. Countless servicemen and women were welcomed at each game with deafening cheers. Military fly overs and parachuting airmen were no longer viewed as just game time entertainment. The heroism of our troops had increased significantly, as we recognized our dire need for these men and women who protect our land.
Team chants and “boos” for the opposing teams were replaced with unified echoes of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” During the NFL game experience there were no longer two teams on the field but one, The United States of America.
Remembering 9/11 is not easy for many Americans but necessary. It invokes a conflicting combination of anger and pride. Anger that such evil could take place in our homeland and pride as we witnessed the citizens of the United States of America come together to serve and care for those most affected by this tragedy.
Blindsided. No one was immune. No status, fame, nor any other privilege gave protection from the blow. 9/11 leveled the emotional playing field and prompted us all to look at life differently. The usual activities and the distractions of our “toys” no longer provided that false sense of security we had become so used to. Materialism was put on hold for a reverence of what really matters most: life, relationships, helping others and the destiny of our own souls.
People who had never given God a second thought, found themselves scrambling for answers and for truth. While some became angry with God, others sought out the comfort that God gives during times like these.
Some sought God with a genuine heart and found exactly what they were looking for and more. Since, they have lived their lives with a different mindset altogether. Less selfish…Less materialistic…More caring…More humble…More Christ-like.
But others only looked to God for a temporary fix to get them through the difficult days until they could confidently stand on their own again. To see their lives today is to witness the same self-centered lifestyle they lived pre-9/11. That is a travesty when you consider heroes like Pat Tillman, Jeremy Staat and others who decided to trade being a warrior on the football field for becoming real life combat warriors on the battlefield.
As Americans who have experienced 9/11, not all of us have a duty to go war, but we do have a duty to fight. So let’s not think of ourselves only, but also think about how we can continue to serve, unite, and be a blessing to others.
Click here to read more about Kim Anthony.
More stories you might like