x

Editorial

For Split A Second Everything Was Normal

September 12, 2019
Eraklis Diamataris

On a cloudless mid-September day in 2001, everything changed. It was one of those moments that those alive then and now remember by knowing exactly what they were doing at the time they learned the news. It seems like many lifetimes ago, yet the tragic and horrific events of September 11, 2001 happened a short 18 years ago. Other generations had Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the lunar landing, the space shuttle Challenger explosion and ours has September 11th.

In the years since, my mind often wanders and strains at the thought of remembering a pre-9/11 world. Things seemed a lot more simple then – people seemed to maybe get along more. Of course, it’s very easy to look at things through rose-colored lenses and nostalgia plays a big part. This year though, my mind has wandered to a different, more uplifting, and tangible moment that I remember vividly.

On September 21, 2001, the New York Mets hosted the hated divisional rival Atlanta Braves at Shea Stadium in what was the first professional sports event  in New York City following the terrorist attacks of that fateful September day 10 days prior. For years the Mets and the Braves faced off in heated contests, the rivalry was so intense that Braves All Star and Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, in what must surely be in a half-troll way, named his first born son Shea Jones after the stadium of the team that he so often tormented. September 21, 2001 was fundamentally different. The Mets lined up with hats of the various departments of first responder departments of New York City and there was palpable nervousness and sadness in the crowd, and among the teams as well. There were rumors swirling about that perhaps the terrorist attacks were not at an end and that perhaps that game itself was the next mass target.

The New York Mets, led by charismatic manager Bobby Valentine, were down by a score of 2-1 heading into the bottom of the 8th inning when Hall of Famer and Mets great Mike Piazza stepped up to the plate and clubbed a two-run home run to put the Mets up 3-2, which would be the final score of the game. That wasn’t just a home run for Mike Piazza, or for the Mets that were still chasing playoff possibilities. It was a home run for America.

 

Mike Piazza gave a lot of Mets fans glorious moments to remember over his illustrious tenure with the club but none quite so memorable as his game-winning home run against the Braves on September 21, 2001. For a split second, the sellout crowd at Shea was roaring and cheering and briefly, ever so briefly, everything seemed normal. Mike Piazza for one evening made New Yorkers and Americans generally forget the horrors of the events that transpired 10 days prior and gave them hope that one day, maybe not that day or even the next, normalcy would return to New York and the United States. On this September 11th, the 18th anniversary of one of the darkest days in western civilization’s history, I gave great thought to the New York Mets, Mike Piazza, and the power that sports has on the human imagination and how close it can bring us together.

We will never forget.

RELATED

Everything was reminiscent, with minor differences, of one of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's visits to America.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.