To Honor 9/11 Fallen, Army Football Team Runs Onto Field With American Flags


For the Black Knights football team at the United States Military Academy, Saturday’s game was anything but normal.

According to Fox News, it was the first time Army was back in front of a full-capacity crowd at Michie Stadium in West Point, New York, since November of 2019.

More importantly, it was also the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

On both accounts, the football team made sure to put its stamp on the occasion, exiting the tunnel carrying American flags to celebrate the victims of the deadliest terrorist attack in history.

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The viral moment was followed by a 38-35 victory over Western Kentucky, leaving the Black Knights 2-0 on the season.

In an interview with the Middletown, New York, Times Herald-Record published Friday, Army coach Jeff Monken described experiencing the event as a 34-year-old assistant coach with George Southern University. He said another coach told the staff a plane had hit the World Trade Center as they were looking at game film in the coaching offices.

“We all kind of looked at each other and said that was crazy,” Monken said. “Not too much longer after that, he poked his head back in the door and said a plane hit the other tower. We all just were kind of stunned, maybe not knowing what to do.”

“As an American and as a human being, just to see what was going through that suffering and just the attack on our country and all the emotion it goes with that … I think we all remember,” Monken said. “I think the feelings of patriotism from so many Americans really came out of that.”

In his career, Monken got to witness that firsthand. He followed Georgia Southern coach Paul Johnson to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. After going off to be head coach on his own, he eventually got the job at Army, where he’s been since 2014. Thus, he’s seen the bravery of those at our military academies up close.

“The great thing about our country … the resolve and the grit and the toughness that’s the backbone of our nation, and there’s no better example of that than our military,” Monken told the Times Herald-Record.

Do you applaud this tribute to the victims of 9/11?

“I’m certain that the young men and women that were here at West Point at the time, they were ready to go. And if somebody said, ‘Hey, we’re going to go get the people that did this, they would have been the first one standing in line to go do it, and that’s what I admire about young men on our team and all the young men and women that attend West Point who have made this commitment to serve.”

In other words, these aren’t the kind of folks who are going to take a knee on the football field — something that didn’t go unnoticed on social media.

There weren’t any shortage of tributes from sports teams from around the nation on 9/11, but few could be as moving as this one — if just because these are the men who put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that were attacked 20 years ago.

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The people at Mitchie Stadium witnessed nothing short of an epic tribute to those who died that day. Thanks to social media, so did the rest of America.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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