When the Dynamo kick off on Saturday, Sept. 11 against in-state rival Austin FC, the game may not be the only thing on the minds of players, staff and fans. That is because the date also marks 20 years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that took place in 2001.
Major League Soccer teams across the country will be wearing patches on their jerseys to commemorate the event that changed so many people’s lives. Additionally, each team will conduct their own pre-game ceremonies at each match taking place that day.
While it is impossible for anybody to forget the events of that day, many people, such as Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos, remember it particularly vividly. The New Jersey native was playing for MLS’ New York/New Jersey MetroStars at the time. That proximity to the site of the World Trade Center left a lasting memory for him that sticks with him still.
“I remember driving home after it happened and seeing the smoke of the towers kind of going south the same way as I was traveling to go home,” Ramos told Houston-area media this week. “There's certain things that happen in the world that you always know where you are when something happens and those are moments that just bring a lot of emotion and a lot of memories. It's tough to remember that.”
While many of the members of the Houston Dynamo FC family have their own memories similar to Ramos’, others were too young to remember the events happening at all. As the years go by, it becomes increasingly important to take the time to recognize events like 9/11 and reflect on their impact. The fact that it has been 20 years since that infamous day amplifies the importance. For Ramos, it is a reminder to be thankful for all the good things that the United States stands for as a land of opportunity.
"Time goes by fast,” Ramos said. “I just think where I was at the time and all the things that have happened in the last 20 years for me to be fortunate enough to be sitting where I am right now. A lot has happened, a lot of work for a lot of people and a good reminder of the difference of where our league was twenty years ago and where we are today.”