NEW YORK (AP) — A new exhibit at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum highlights the impact of sports after the 2001 attacks, including the Mets’ win in New York’s first major sporting event after 9/11.
“Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11” explores how sports helped unite the country and features interviews with athletes including Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza.
“In that first game back, the home team came back and won,” said Piazza, whose two-run homer for the Mets in the eighth inning on Sept. 21, 2001, won the game against Atlanta. “That’s exactly the lesson the city, the country and the world needed to see that night.”
Carol Gies attended that game with her three sons and celebrated the moment in the stands. Her firefighter husband, Lt. Ronnie Gies, died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
“When that ball went over the wall, I saw my children smile for the very first time since they lost their dad,” she said in an oral history recording.
Other athletes featured in oral histories and interviews include Bobby Valentine, Mark Messier, Vinny Testaverde, Venus and Serena Williams, Julie Foudy and Deena Kastor.
The exhibit covers various sports, including football, hockey, NASCAR and the 2002 Winter Olympics. The story is told in nine chapters, using archival sports footage and testimonies from athletes, coaches and 9/11 family members.
“Through the lens of sports, this exhibition celebrates the strength of the human spirit and our capacity to come together and support one another through unimaginable grief,” 9/11 Memorial & Museum President Alice M. Greenwald said. “This story provides additional points of entry into the complex story of 9/11 to better understand our history and the impact it had on our world today, to reflect on our own lived memories from that time and to feel inspired by stories about the best of humanity.”
The exhibit was sponsored in part through the support of the Anheuser-Busch Foundation, Major League Baseball, the New York Mets and their chief operating officer, Jeff Wilpon.
It runs through the summer of 2019.