Sports

Pleasanton Preps: We must never forget Sept. 11

I'll always remember how sports helped return sense of normalcy 20 years ago

The scene at the Alameda County Fairgrounds ahead of the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony last Saturday. (Photo by Dennis Miller)

It seems every year around Sept. 11 I write a column about 9/11, and every year I promise myself it will be the last time I write about the horrific day.

Then the next year rolls around and I feel compelled to write about Sept. 11. 2001 and recount how local high school sports provided a sense of normalcy.

But I am also compelled to write about that day because it needs to stay relevant, and it needs to continually resonate with generation after generation of middle school and high school students.

They must never forget.

Because this is the 20th anniversary of the attacks that left almost 3,000 dead and over 6,000 injured, there was more coverage than what we have seen the last few years.

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Friday night, Sept. 10, we held a moment of silence at the Foothill football game as the Falcons hosted Vanden. Both teams came onto the field carrying flags, and before the game, the color guard from the Marine Recruiting Center in Livermore, presented the colors, followed by the moment of silence.

The Marine color guard at the Foothill football game last Friday, Sept. 10. (Contributed photo)

Being the Foothill announcer, I wrote the script leading into the moment, and to be honest, nearly broke up a couple of times reading it.

Saturday morning my wife and I attended the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. It was amazing how quiet it was during the ceremony.

Usually at any event you attend, there is peripheral chatter, but not this time. That is until Deborah Lloyd of Dublin got up to speak.

Lloyd is the older sister of Amy King, who was a flight attendant on United Flight 175, the plane that was hijacked and was the second plane to hit the Twin Towers -- crashing into the South Tower.

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Lloyd courageously made it through her talk about her sister, including talking about the morning of the attacks and how her family learned about the fate of Amy and how they reacted.

At that time the crowd was silent, except for the countless sniffles that could be heard.

I don't think there was a dry eye in the amphitheater.

To see the raw and genuine emotion from Lloyd 20 years to the day after the death of her sister was reason enough for me to write this column.

In fact, I am writing just hours after the event ended. Thank you for your courage, Deborah. My wife and will never forget your words.

As my wife and I talked right afterward, it was sports -- both nationally and locally -- that provided our family some sense of normalcy.

Just three days later, Friday, Sept. 14, 2001, there was a full slate of prep football games scheduled. Some schools opted not to play that night, which was certainly understandable.

I needed a game that night to cover, if for nothing else to be with other people and feel like everything would be OK. I got that at Monte Vista High School.

To this day I cannot remember who the Mustangs played, nor who won the game. What I will always remember is the feeling of warmth and togetherness everyone was emanating on the sidelines and in the stands.

The most impactful memory was when the national anthem was performed by a Monte Vista staff member. I never saw so many people sing along at a high school sporting event either before or since.

I have those images from that night burned into my memories right along with the images of the towers collapsing. They go together, bridging the feelings of hopelessness, then optimism that we will be OK.

I am hoping that last Friday night at Foothill the memory of the 9/11 attacks was further etched into the memory of generations that were not alive for the attacks.

I know those of us who were alive will never forget, and I am hoping this generation will carry forward the memory of what happened, much the same way future generations have carried forward Dec. 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

These are two incredibly emotional events that show us not to take life for granted, and to be thankful for what we have every day.

Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact him about his Pleasanton Preps column, email [email protected]

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Pleasanton Preps: We must never forget Sept. 11

I'll always remember how sports helped return sense of normalcy 20 years ago

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Sep 15, 2021, 1:31 pm

It seems every year around Sept. 11 I write a column about 9/11, and every year I promise myself it will be the last time I write about the horrific day.

Then the next year rolls around and I feel compelled to write about Sept. 11. 2001 and recount how local high school sports provided a sense of normalcy.

But I am also compelled to write about that day because it needs to stay relevant, and it needs to continually resonate with generation after generation of middle school and high school students.

They must never forget.

Because this is the 20th anniversary of the attacks that left almost 3,000 dead and over 6,000 injured, there was more coverage than what we have seen the last few years.

Friday night, Sept. 10, we held a moment of silence at the Foothill football game as the Falcons hosted Vanden. Both teams came onto the field carrying flags, and before the game, the color guard from the Marine Recruiting Center in Livermore, presented the colors, followed by the moment of silence.

Being the Foothill announcer, I wrote the script leading into the moment, and to be honest, nearly broke up a couple of times reading it.

Saturday morning my wife and I attended the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. It was amazing how quiet it was during the ceremony.

Usually at any event you attend, there is peripheral chatter, but not this time. That is until Deborah Lloyd of Dublin got up to speak.

Lloyd is the older sister of Amy King, who was a flight attendant on United Flight 175, the plane that was hijacked and was the second plane to hit the Twin Towers -- crashing into the South Tower.

Lloyd courageously made it through her talk about her sister, including talking about the morning of the attacks and how her family learned about the fate of Amy and how they reacted.

At that time the crowd was silent, except for the countless sniffles that could be heard.

I don't think there was a dry eye in the amphitheater.

To see the raw and genuine emotion from Lloyd 20 years to the day after the death of her sister was reason enough for me to write this column.

In fact, I am writing just hours after the event ended. Thank you for your courage, Deborah. My wife and will never forget your words.

As my wife and I talked right afterward, it was sports -- both nationally and locally -- that provided our family some sense of normalcy.

Just three days later, Friday, Sept. 14, 2001, there was a full slate of prep football games scheduled. Some schools opted not to play that night, which was certainly understandable.

I needed a game that night to cover, if for nothing else to be with other people and feel like everything would be OK. I got that at Monte Vista High School.

To this day I cannot remember who the Mustangs played, nor who won the game. What I will always remember is the feeling of warmth and togetherness everyone was emanating on the sidelines and in the stands.

The most impactful memory was when the national anthem was performed by a Monte Vista staff member. I never saw so many people sing along at a high school sporting event either before or since.

I have those images from that night burned into my memories right along with the images of the towers collapsing. They go together, bridging the feelings of hopelessness, then optimism that we will be OK.

I am hoping that last Friday night at Foothill the memory of the 9/11 attacks was further etched into the memory of generations that were not alive for the attacks.

I know those of us who were alive will never forget, and I am hoping this generation will carry forward the memory of what happened, much the same way future generations have carried forward Dec. 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

These are two incredibly emotional events that show us not to take life for granted, and to be thankful for what we have every day.

Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact him about his Pleasanton Preps column, email [email protected]

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