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Special Exhibition 'Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11' to Open in June at 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Special Exhibition 'Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11' to Open in June at 9/11 Memorial & Museum

The exhibit will remind us how sports helped give the nation a reason to cheer again in 2001

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Messier announced a new exhibition, "Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11," which will exhibit how sports helped heal and unite our grieving country following the World Trade Center attacks, according to a press release.

This exhibition emotionally documents the powerful link between sports and commemoration American's experienced following the attacks. Many stories of famous athletes developing bonds with first responders as well as the families of 9/11 victims will be displayed in the exhibit. Additionally, visitors will relive these unforgettable sports moments through stories, artifacts, and memorabilia.

"For so many weeks and months following 9/11, sports offered a welcome distraction from the weight of grief, an uplifting experience to share with others and something to cheer about," 9/11 Memorial & Museum President Alice M. Greenwald said in a press release. "Some victims' family members chose to honor loved ones by celebrating the sports they had loved, as leagues, teams, athletes, and fans came together to affirm that what we have in common is far greater than what divides us."

The exhibition mainly focuses on the sports in season on September 11, 2001, but will also pay homage to other sports events in baseball, football, hockey NASCAR, soccer, the New York City Marathon, and the 2002 Winter Olympics. 

Some inspiring and emotional sports moments that will be on display include:

  • Mike Piazza's two-run homerun, winning the game for the Mets in the first professional baseball game in NYC following 9/11
  • Dale Earnardt Jr.'s victory lap in the first NASCAR race after 9/11
  • Jimmy, Billy, and Marc Andruzzi, three firefighters serving as honorary captains at the New York Jets-Patriot game in their FDNY helmets and turnout coats on September 23, 2001

The former New York Rangers captain Mark Messier's jersey from an October 2001 game will be on display alongside a photo of him wearing an FDNY helmet, in honor of FDNY Deputy Chief Raymond Matthew Downey Sr., a life-long hockey fan and first responder who was missing at the World Trade Center site at the time. His remains were later recovered.

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 "For us as a Rangers team we really felt the responsibility to represent the city, to represent the first responders, to represent the people who had lost their lives, and to represent the Downey family," said Messier in a press release. "It was an honor and we quickly realized we're standing shoulder to shoulder with the first responders who had been so brave."

 Entrance to the exhibition is free with museum ticket purchase, but walk-up space will be limited so it is recommended that you reserve a ticket in advance on the website. The exhibit will open to the public on June 27 and will be on view through summer 2019. 


Image: A rendering of "Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11"
Narrative chapters throughout the exhibit will follow the emotional story arc of sports after 9/11.

Courtesy: 9/11 Memorial & Museum