Stunning moment Army footballers from Westpoint Academy commemorate 20th anniversary of 9/11 by running onto field carrying Stars and Stripes flags
- Westpoint Army football players ran onto the field on Saturday carrying American flags to honor the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks
- The Black Knights were joined by three first responders while rushing the field
- Army is playing Western Kentucky for their home opening at Michie Stadium
- Jeff Monken just came off his 50th win as Army head coach last week
- Monken recounted his memories of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
Westpoint Army football players ran onto the field at Michie Stadium carrying American flags to honor the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The Black Knights came out of the tunnel on Saturday for their home game against Western Kentucky hoping to remain undefeated this season.
The cadets took the field with three first responders all carrying American flags to start their home opener.
Army football is coming off their win last week against Georgia State which gave Army head coach Jeff Monken his 50th win.
Westpoint Army football players ran onto the field at Michie Stadium carrying American flags to honor the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001
The Black Knights rushed the field with three first responders on Saturday
Army will be playing Western Kentucky for the home opening at Michie Stadium
Monken spoke with the Times-Herald Record about his memories of the terrorist attacks 20 years ago when he was an assistant coach at Georgia Southern University.
He recounted how the team’s strength coach knocked on the door and broke the news. All the coaches were stunned to hear of the plane crashing into the Twin Towers.
‘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.’
The coaches attempted to continue reviewing film for the upcoming game but nobody could focus.
‘We probably watched two more plays,’ Monken said, ‘and I remember saying to everybody else, ‘Let’s go find out what the heck’s going on in our world right now. This is crazy.’ And we all just kind of trickled off to our offices.’
Although the offices didn’t have cable or internet, he said ‘We found out soon after that, like everybody else did, just what was going on and what a tragic event.’
‘Obviously we carried on that day and practiced and just didn’t know what was going to happen,’ Monken said. ‘We just didn’t know what to do other than just trying to maintain a sense of normalcy.’ The game against Wofford was eventually cancelled.
But Monken didn’t see his first images of the attacks until he went grocery shopping with his wife later in the day. ‘There was a TV on at the store,’ he said.
The team honored the 2,977 lives lost in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001
West Point closed down their post immediately and athletic officials canceled the weekend game in response the attacks on September 11, 2001
‘I stopped … it was the first images that I had of (the unfolding tragedy). I stood there for probably an hour and a half and just watched with my mouth open, just in utter disbelief.’
Monken stayed up until 4 am watching coverage of the events and continued watching when he woke up.
‘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. … I think the feelings of patriotism from so many Americans really came out of that.’
Pro and college sports events were canceled for most of the next week. West Point closed down their post immediately and athletic officials canceled the weekend game with the University at Buffalo.
Events around the country are being held to honor the 2,977 lives lost on September 11, 2001. President Joe Biden is scheduled to attend ceremonies in New York City, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon to memorialize the attacks.