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Sept. 11, 2001: My Top 10 CBS Contemplations

Richie Whitt's 'Sportatorium' | CBSDFW.COM

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10. Never a fan of George Dubya Bush, but when the President confidently strode to the mound at Yankee Stadium during the World Series after 9/11 I’ve never felt more proud.

9. The silent skies. One of the most eerie byproducts of 9/11 was all air traffic being grounded. Living in the flight path to D/FW Airport, the lights and sounds of airplanes is a way of life. But in the wake of the tragedy, walking outside to totally empty, quiet skies screamed loudly that things were different.

8. Went back to New York on Oct. 30, 2001 to cover Michael Jordan’s return to the NBA as a member of the Washington Wizards. Watching him was sad. But walking around the makeshift memorial at Ground Zero was even more sad. But you know what, sports helped us heal. Sports can be maddening, scintillating and, yes, therapeutic.

7. I try to remember all the warm ‘n fuzzy “United We Stand!” feelings and bumper stickers and flags. But then you get dangerously cut off on the highway by someone who overvalues his time while belittling your safety, and you realize it was – for the most part – just temporary feelings of grandiose. Sad.

6. Since 9/11 I’ve never looked at a uniformed officer, firefighter or soldier the same. Thanks to all the first responders, then and now. They give us the freedom to hate the Giants and the Heat, and love America’s Team.

5. Still remember the goose bumps I felt when – after taking a week off – the Cowboys were led out of the Texas Stadium tunnel by safety George Teague, carrying an American flag. The Rangers, languishing at 66-78, took a week off between games against the A’s.

4. Honestly, I don’t feel safer than I did before 9/11. But it’s not because of foreign terrorists, but rather the armed psychopaths living down the street from you and me that inexplicably decide to shoot up movie theaters, and schools, and each other.

3. I was in New York just before 9/11. Covering the U.S. Open tennis tournament for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, I flew my ex-wife and her son up for some tennis and sightseeing. We took the ferry ride around the Statue of Liberty, and I have a photo with the Twin Towers behind us … dated 9/10/01. Still gives me chills. After writing this story – I flew out of LaGuardia Monday night, 12 hours before the attacks.

2. It took more than a decade, but we finally killed Osama bin Laden. And, yes, it’s okay to cheer a death.

1. Never forget.

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