Everyone knows where they were when they got the news. Everyone knows how they got it. Everyone reacted with a wide range of emotions.Anger
- Who would do this to us, and how soon do we retaliate? Shock
- Especially for those who grew up in the New York area, whether in the city, or in a suburb where the Twin Towers were always on the horizon. Sadness
- For the innocent people lost, and for some, losing people close to them. Helplessness and frustration
- knowing there's not much anyone could do for the victims that day.As the day and the week went on, positive emotions began to peek through. A feeling of unity among all the people in the U.S. For one all-too-brief moment, Americans of every race, creed, color, and ideology came together to help and support one another. There was also a sense of pride in the efforts of the First Responders, who sacrificed themselves to save the lives of others, and in the efforts of those who participated in the cleanup of Ground Zero, some of whom were volunteers.For Mets fans, there came an unexpected source of pride - their baseball team. It's been well chronicled, especially on this, the 10th
anniversary of the attacks. How the Mets had to take a bus back from Pittsburgh, because air traffic throughout the country had been grounded. When they arrived in Queens, manager Bobby Valentine and his coaches and players unloaded and distributed supplies for the Responders and for those displaced by the attacks in lower Manhattan. They did so in the parking lot of Shea Stadium, which the Mets had opened up for use as a staging area for the rescue effort.And on September 21st, the Mets resumed their season, providing at the very least, a break for the First Responders
, and at best, the beginning of the healing process. And of course, it didn't hurt that they won, thanks to the inspiring late inning HR by Mike Piazza, that made Shea Stadium erupt with cheers of "U.S.A."Appropriately, 10 years later, the Mets were on the field in Philadelphia when word spread throughout Citizen's Bank Park that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been killed. The crowd buzzed until they reached a crescendo of cheers, and everyone at the game and watching on TV knew what had happened before the rest of the country.How much impact did sports, particularly baseball, really have on people during and after the events of 9/11? It probably has to do with how much the game means to you. For those who look at dedicated fans (not to mention bloggers) as obsessive, what the Mets did probably had little or no impact. But that day, the Mets became more than just a baseball team, they became part of the community by helping the First Responders. And for many, the game on September 21 felt like a group therapy session with 50,000 of their neighbors.For Mets fans, their team gave them a reason to be proud, no matter what happened on the field. In fact, what the Mets organization did that day, and that week, should be considered the greatest moment in Mets history.