To kick off the 2021 NFL season, the NFL family joined together on Thursday, September 9, through Sunday, September 12, to help recognize the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The group honored those who have lost and sacrificed their lives over the last two decades.
The plans announced on Thursday included a continued commitment to Tuesday’s Children, which works to ensure that families who have suffered losses due to the events of 9/11, post-9/11 military service, or other acts of mass violence and terrorism always have a comforting place to turn to for support and community.
The NFL also provided unifying moments nationwide on air and at all stadiums just prior to the start of the nine 1:00 p.m. ET NFL games on Sunday, September 12.
Prior to the start of those games, the NFL Media produced a tribute video simulcast nationwide across CBS and FOX pregame shows to highlight what the days after 9/11 meant to America.
The piece, which tied the challenges of the past two years and how Americans overcome hardships together, was narrated by award-winning actor and former FDNY firefighter Steve Buscemi.
Immediately following the tribute video, a performance of the national anthem from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum was sung by Juliette Candela, who was also selected by Tuesday’s Children.
Candela’s father, John, lost his life on 9/11 in the World Trade Center. Juliette’s performance honored her father and all others wo lost their lives that day.
In addition to the tributes, NFL clubs remembered 9/11 on-field during Week 1 games in the following ways:
Players wore specially designed 9/11 ribbon helmet decal. 9/11 lapel pins were worn on sidelines by coaches and team personnel. Broadcast announcers, media members and club and league employees were also provided pins.
The NFL also partnered with America250 on the America250 Awards, a multi-year program that honors Americans who exemplify the intangible qualities of the American spirit. The public is invited to nominate by October 11 someone whose heroic actions to help others were inspired by 9/11. Three winners will receive two round-trip tickets and accommodations to a Thanksgiving Day NFL game this year where they will be recognized on the field.
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.