June 06, 2020
Sports Column

Attacks put sports in right perspective

Words are difficult to come by. Rage isn’t. Tuesday’s terrorist attacks leave you speechless with anger.

You will always remember where you were when you heard the news. You will never forget the knot in your stomach and the anger it evoked.

This was supposed to be a sports column. But how can you alter your thought process when your nation is attacked?

The demise of the Red Sox seems completely insignificant.

Perhaps it is a military upbringing that prevents me from being able to alter my thought process.

Knowing my father, Larry Sr., spent 29 years of his life defending this country and put his own life on the line in Vietnam to help ensure our freedom certainly impacts my attitude. Particularly when a mortar round, if it had landed just a few feet closer to him, would possibly have claimed his life.

Having a brother who works two buildings down from the World Trade Center and who witnessed the horrific attacks also altered my thinking.

Fortunately, my brother Vic was able to evacuate his building safely and survive the close call.

The fact some athletic administrators allowed games to be played Tuesday afternoon or Tuesday evening confounds me.

I don’t think they were insensitive. I’m sure they were devastated like the rest of us. I just think they made a mistake in judgment.

There will be those who will say it’s better to give youngsters something to do to occupy their minds.

Others will say participating in athletic events may show terrorists that we aren’t going to let these attacks alter our routines.

But this was an act of war that took place on our soil.

Our youngsters should have their minds on this deplorable tragedy.

It is a privilege and an honor to be an American.

Our youngsters need to share this pain with us because they are the future leaders of the greatest country on the planet.

They also need to know that their administrators feel this was a tragedy that warranted a postponement so they can absorb the diabolical nature of this attack and have time to respect the memories of those who have lost their lives.

Sports will eventually serve as an important healing agent in our recovery. We will move on with our everyday lives.

We will forever be changed by the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. But we will overcome this tragedy. Just as we overcame Pearl Harbor and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

We will become an even stronger, more unified nation.

It is time to can the petty bickering that perpetrates our two-party system and work toward the common good of the country.

We will learn from our mistakes. We will beef up our security. We will take a longer look at defense budget cuts that occur on a regular basis.

We have learned that we are vulnerable. We can’t afford to be.

Those who were responsible for the attacks will discover that they made a monumental mistake.

By making us take a long, hard look at ourselves, they will have helped create an adversary that will pursue them around the clock until they are brought to justice.

We are a resilient country. We always have been. We always will be. Overcoming adversity has been commonplace.

The immigrants who settled this country were persecuted in their former countries. They also had significant obstacles to overcome on this soil.

Adversity brings out the best in people. It forces you to respond.

You don’t have an option.

My prayers go out to the victims and their families.

Larry Mahoney’s Touching Base column is published Wednesday. He can be reached at 990-8231 or at lmahoney@bangordailynews.net.

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