Every generation seems to have a moment of tragedy that is seared in its collective memory -- a day of infamy, if you will. From Pearl Harbor to the Kennedy Assassination to the Challenger explosion, it seems that there is an event every 20 years or so that forces an entire populace to stop, reflect and immediately mature. Those dates are gargantuan. Then there's September 11th, 2001.
On that bright, sunny Tuesday 10 years ago, 19 al-Qaeda hijackers boarded four different U.S. planes that were scheduled for cross-country flights and ultimately crashed into three iconic structures and one Pennsylvania field -- killing nearly 3,000 Americans and changing virtually every aspect of our lives. This was more than a generational moment. It was the single deadliest attack by a foreign enemy on American soil -- and everything from our political landscape to the way we fly to the way we bank were altered. This had global ramifications that linger to this day, a decade later. September 11th, 2001, is now more than a chapter in this nation's history; it has become a part of our everyday present and our future as well.
Of course, the sports world was not immune from being affected -- and golf was no exception. Tour events were canceled, players and families were stranded and the looming Ryder Cup was delayed for a year. But sports leagues and events were the last things on people's minds. More pressing was how to get through the next day. The question wasn't what professional might win the next event, the question was when would amateur golfers be able to find their way to the course and feel okay swinging the clubs again.
And therein lies the silver lining to this very, very dark cloud. The collective unity, support and passion shown by Americans everywhere after 9/11 were just as impressive as the attacks were tragic and cowardly. We rebuilt, we memorialized and, in the most brave way possible, we carried on. The goal of the attacks was to throw our world into complete chaos. They succeeded for a mere moment. But the American spirit proved too resilient, too strong. And 10 years later, that spirit has carried us back to almost where we were before. Less naïve, a bit more suspecting, but ever so vigilant and determined.
And as we continue to heal, we vow to always remember. Of course, in the golf world, too.
We asked some of our friends on Facebook and Twitter how they'd mark the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. Their responses showed that golfers understand the significance of commemorating the day and the importance of moving forward. We greatly appreciate the responses and the perspectives. Some heartfelt responses to us included:
Those who felt the golf course was the right place to be:
Ralph A. Dee I think we as a nation should not give those Taliban scum the satisfaction of watching us mourn another minute! Let's give a silent moment of reflection..then Tee it up! Enjoy the trees, the grass, the scents and the good shots. Think of the ultimate sacrifice our kids overseas endured..and play golf and smile..knowing the inhuman Taliban can't enjoy such a wonderfully maddening game!
Brett Johnson I'm a firefighter so 9/11 has significant impact to me. There for I took the day off to play in a 2 man amateur tourny in florida.
Trebor Mangum big golf tourny and before the first tee shot the national anthem is being sung and there will be a flyover
Kevin Hamluk South Riding GC in VA is having a Patriot Tournament with the money raised going to the Folds of Honor Foundation in conjunction with Patriot Golf Day
Others will remember elsewhere:
Eva M Wang I live one block from the Trade Center and was just leaving for work that morning. I saw the first blast and was homeless for 7 weeks afterwards. So, I don't think I'll be playing golf this Sunday since I have such bad memories from it. :/
Ricardo Luis Mata Borjas I will not be playing this weekend. I lost 3 friends on 9/11 and playing golf, in my opinion, would be disrespectful. I will go to church in the morning and stay at home the rest of the day.
Some will mark it in their attire:
Dennis Bankston Have a nice pair of blue slacks, a white shirt, a beautiful red sweater vest and white shoes to wear Sunday.
And some will find mark the date with additional and victorious meanings to 9-11:
Timothy Moore In 2001 they messed up our 25th wedding anniversary, we will quietly observe our 35th anniversary,we won't let them win we are still here.
Regardless of how each person decides to commemorate the date, we join all Americans in remembering the lives lost, the spirit of recovery and the love of country that marks 10 years since that fateful morning. Golf has endured and will continue to do so as long as people are free to pursue the activities they love, enjoy and are passionate about. Your support for this game and your love of this country will ensure this continues to be the case.