By Thomas Hauser:
One year ago, we put aside our games. The United States was attacked by terrorists who commandeered four civilian airplanes and turned them into weapons of mass destruction. Three thousand people died. The carnage brought a diminished sense of security for all of us coupled with anger and sadness at such an ugly turn of the world.
Within the boxing community, the impact of the attack was felt immediately with the postponement of the championship bout between Felix Trinidad and Bernard Hopkins. Then the horror of the tragedy became more personal as the names of the dead were revealed.
Vernon Cherry was a firefighter assigned to a ladder company beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, not far from the World Trade Center. He loved boxing and often sang the National Anthem at club fights in New York.
Gregg Atlas (the nephew of trainer and ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas) was assigned to a fire battalion in close proximity to the World Trade Center.
Pat Brown was a battalion captain and one of the first firefighters to arrive on the scene. For years, he had worked out at Gleason's Gym.
These and thousands of other innocents died on September 11th.
In due course, the games resumed. Trinidad-Hopkins took place and is now recalled as Hopkins-Trinidad. Outside the ring, most of us returned to our daily routine. But Steve Farhood spent hundreds of hours working with former fighters to promote a fundraiser that generated $52,000 for the Twin Towers Fund. Lou DiBella took a $70,000 loss to turn one of his fight cards into a fundraiser that contributed an additional $55,000 to victims of the attack plus $6,000 to the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation.
Now, a year later, "9/11" is part of the vernacular. The land where the Twin Towers stood is a vacant lot. The New York skyline has been forever changed.
This year, September 11th is sandwiched between two championship bouts. Roy Jones faced off against Clinton Woods in Portland on September 7th. Oscar De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas will do battle in Las Vegas on the 14th. Most people who travel to the latter fight will make a point of not being in the air on 9/11.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that Secondsout is a British website. Since September 11th, more than any other people, the Brits have stood by us. So from the colonies; thank you.