Friday, September 10, 2010

It's Not Only a Game

Because of the soccer-related activities tomorrow, I am unlikely to be able to post throughout the day. So let me pause to remember the victims of September 11, 2001.

There were 1,747 who, at the time, were living in the State of New York. Of those, 1,147 lived in New York City.

There were 694 from New Jersey, including 3 from my parents' hometown of Newark, 3 from Bloomfield where I first lived, and 8 from East Brunswick where I've lived most of my life. (That's EB's 9/11 Memorial in the photo.)

There were 92 from Massachusetts, 81 from Virginia, 65 from Connecticut, 50 from Maryland, 49 from California, 30 from Pennsylvania, 11 from the District of Columbia, 10 from New Hampshire, 9 from Illinois, 6 from Texas; 5 each from Florida and Rhode Island; 4 each from Alabama, Georgia and Maine; 3 each from Louisiana, North Carolina and Ohio; 2 each from Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Oklahoma; and 1 each from Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

There were 13 from Britain, 6 from Germany, 5 from Canada, 3 from Australia, 3 from Japan, 2 from China, and 1 each from Bermuda, El Salvador, Grenada, Ireland, Israel and Sweden.

On an anniversary like this, it seems silly to think about sports. But sports can help us to heal. That was true in 1989, in Britain after the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in Sheffield during the FA Cup on April 15, and in the U.S. after the earthquake in San Francisco during the World Series on October 17. It was true during the Great Depression and in World War II. And it was true after 9/11.

How can anyone see how New York reacted -- first in that incredible Mets comeback in the first New York home game after the attacks, then in the Yankees' remarkable postseason run -- and say it's "only a game"?

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