Andre Douglas was in his Grade 10 science class in New Rochelle, N.Y., on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Chris Garrett was in Grade 9, sitting in earth science class in the Virginia suburbs near Washington, D.C.
It’s safe to say both members of the Bombers will have more intense feelings than most when a pre-game ceremony to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks are held before Sunday’s Banjo Bowl.
The Bombers will also pay tribute to the Manitoba’s police, paramedics and firefighters as part of the ceremony, which will include the singing of both the Canadian and American anthems.
Like everyone, Douglas has vivid memories of 9/11. Since New Rochelle is basically a suburb of New York City, however, his memories are more vivid.
“The teacher came in and told us,” Winnipeg’s starting left tackle said. “And a lot of kids’ parents work in the city, so it was a panic of people running around.
“We still kind of had classes, but we weren’t doing anything. Then they put it on T.V., and we were watching it, and then we saw the second tower fall. It was like a movie.”
The events were so stressful that Douglas has trouble remembering details from the weeks following the attacks.
“The days after, you couldn’t do anything. Everything was shut down,” he said. “There had to be numerous kids (who lost relatives). There were so many, I probably blocked it out of my memory, there were so many kids that lost family members.”
Garrett, who is on the Bombers practice roster, was similarly concerned when his class learned of the attacks. The running back was also born in the Big Apple, so he felt the fall of the twin towers as well.
“It affected me because a lot of people that I know have lost family members. I know people in New York City and the D.C. area,” Garrett said. “A lot of people lost aunts and uncles, mothers and fathers. That affected me a lot.
“(The pre-game ceremony) is going to be a remembrance, but it’s going to be a good day just to see all the support from the fans and the players.”