It was a beautiful, clear day and the school bus was running unusually late. That's when a neighborhood friend's mother drove by, offered us a ride to school and told us calmly that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center.
I couldn't believe it. I had just been there the summer before. Visited the top floor of that very building with my grandparents, had my picture taken, marveled at the unobstructed view over one of the world's most powerful cities. For this young sightseer, I was quite literally on top of the world.
Everybody remembers where they were on September 11, 2001. And for a period of time following that day, everything was put on pause. Even for athletic, fitness and recreation professionals, people to whom "pause" is a foreign word, things came to a halt. On its iconic cover, Sports Illustrated deemed it, "The Week That Sports Stood Still."
It's hard to believe it's been 12 years since that day. Eventually, things picked up again. After postponing games for five days, Major League Baseball resumed play on September 17. College and pro football postponed games on the weekend following the attacks, but started up again the following week.
Today, we have a new World Trade Center and in the sports world, the games go on as scheduled. Unlike two years ago, when the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks fell on a Sunday, the sports world's tributes will be relatively quiet today. Here's a look at some of the 9/11-related events happening today in the industries we cover:
Major League Baseball will have patriotic, on-field ceremonies at all 15 games tonight. According to the league's website, "This remembrance is part of baseball's ongoing league-wide effort to honor those whose lives were lost and affected on that tragic day."
"All of us within Major League Baseball made a solemn promise after Sept. 11, 2001: We Shall Not Forget," Commissioner Bud Selig said two years ago on the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.
Players and on-field personnel, including those representing MLB's lone Canadian franchise, the Toronto Blue Jays, will have American flag patches embroidered on their caps and the bases used in all games will feature a patriotic decoration.
In Michigan, Michigan International Speedway will open its gates not for a race, but for a 9/11 Memorial hosted at the facility.
There will be a 4,000 square foot Home of the Brave multimedia exhibit featuring videos, Presidential letters, magazines and newspapers.
Then there are so-called 9/11 tributes that touch a nationalistic nerve still frayed after 12 years.
A golf course just a few miles from AB's Madison, Wis. offices received national attention for its $9.11 golf special. The promotion began two years ago and went relatively unnoticed. This year however, the promotion went viral on social media and not in a good way.
According to the Associated Press, the owner and general manager of Tumbledown Trails golf course has received death threats and threats to burn down the family-operated public golf course. The sheriff's department will have a deputy onsite today.
As we all reflect on this solemn anniversary, let us hope that the spirit displayed during our sporting events and recreational endeavors endures unfettered - not just throughout this day or another dozen years, but for all time.