bunt sign

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

I don't know how close we came to not having baseball today. Less than two weeks ago, the possibility loomed large. It seems unthinkable, but then many unthinkable thoughts have become reality in the last year.

Baseball claims to have been a part of the healing process, and for many of us it was. It's not that it gave us a sense of normalcy, although it did that. But when games resumed after a week, it gave us a place to come together, a place not based on faith or cultural background or nationality. A place to unite.

It happened all over the country, in New York but also in San Francisco. A baseball game was a place to share our grief, and a place to dedicate ourselves to a common future. The essence of the game is hope dashed and renewed again, and at the games last September we remembered in sorrow, and we celebrated in hope.

We talked ourselves into believing that the future held some kind of promise, only days after so many promises were shattered in stone, steel and ash.

So is it appropriate that I went to a baseball game today, on this anniversary date? Of course it was. What's more appropriate than America's pastime, the game that reflects where we came from? Forty thousand people shared the event at Pacific Bell Park today, and the pregame ceremony, remembering the heroes and victims of last September 11, was positive and dignified.

No, really. There was a bagpipe band, a giant flag unfurled on the field, and doves. Beautiful white doves circled the field as the crowd sang the National Anthem, accompanied by a single piano. It was amazing.

And then there was a baseball game, which was just a game among many played today, one of 162 each of the teams will play during this season, important to the players and their fans but ultimately just a diversion from the struggle to make sense of the world the way it is now. Baseball makes sense, because the game is the same as it was 150 years ago. We need some of that in our modern life.

Pacific Bell Park

Ballplayers, bagpipes and a big flag.
More photos here.

We will remember. We'll always remember, and nothing will make us forget those who were taken from us, and the way they were taken. Life is precious, and every moment has value. It's what we do with those moments, and how we live our lives, that give meaning to the memories. Today most of us found a way to deal with what we've gone through in the past year. Tomorrow we start on the next one.

previousbunt signemailnext

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: September 11, 2001
"Eventually, life in the United States will get back to normal, but 'normal' will mean something different than it ever has before."

Two years ago: Working At It
"There. Now I feel better again."

Subscribe to the notify list to be advised when this site is updated.