Saturday marks the ninth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, and the Air Force Falcons will be having a special ceremony prior to Saturday's game:
Air Force decided to have a remembrance ceremony before Saturday's football game on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and it went all out. Detective Steve Hayden, a New York police officer, and FDNY firefighter Ken Haskell will be honorary game captains.
There will not be another event in this country, other than New York City, in a stadium that will compare to it," said Mike Simler, son of George Simler, who lauded Air Force for its efforts in putting the event together.
The stories behind the flags show how every detail was considered. The flag from Afghanistan will be carried out by a Falcons player as he leads the team out of the tunnel. Air Force will not reveal who will get that honor.
The other flag -- which will be parachuted in-- is one that has actually flown over the World Trade Center site on September 2nd prior to this game.
The September 11, 2001 attacks made an impact on current Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson who decided to pursue military service because of those events:
"I decided to join the military in part because of 9/11," Jefferson said. "I thought it was a special place, that somebody needs to step up to it. I felt like I owed something to my country. I get to live here and be protected by servicemen who are fighting for our country and giving their lives overseas. I felt it was a way I could give back."
Jefferson said he didn't have a sudden revelation to go to Air Force on Sept. 11, 2001, but he kept coming back to the possibility over the next few years. He proudly speaks about representing Air Force on Saturday. Before and during the game, men and women who have served the country will be recognized.
"After the fact, when you look back in the coming years, realizing that this game meant so much more than the game of football, I don't know how to describe it," Jefferson said. "In a couple years, I'll have the words then."
This pregame ceremony will be a special one for all of those in attendance but possibly even more for the current football players on the Air Force roster, because once they are done playing football they will be doing their part to serve our country.
So, enjoy the game and if you get the chance tune into Versus and hopefully the will show something from this ceremony.