Patriotism by Audrey Allen

I have been so fortunate to go to many Pats games. I started going to games 32 years ago. I have walked through the old trailer park to attend games. My many memories are fondly embedded in a special place in my heart. Over the years I have attended games with friends and family which make me smile when I think of them.
My favorite memory is from the game after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America. There was a week of postponed games and for me, crying day and night. I am a teacher, and it was so hard to go to school and try to explain the cowardly act of terror to my sixth graders. I decided the terrorists would not win and I would go to the Patriots vs. Jets game that following Sunday – September 23. The pregame ceremony was by far the best the Patriots ever hosted (even better than hoisting the six Super Bowl banners and I was at all of those). Everyone who hated NY (anything about their sports anyway) were all feeling so badly for the city and showing them love and respect. Of course, we were hosting the Jets that day. We all wore red, white and blue because we were united as a country. The National Anthem was especially beautiful that day. The skies were empty of planes with ads dragging in tow. People were so empathetic. When Joe Andruzzi came out of the tunnel with two American flags and his three FDNY brothers joined him for the coin toss while raising their fire helmets, tears rolled down my face. It is a site and a memory I will never forget.
Another top memory is when the Pats honored Pat Tillman. I remember receiving a No. 40 pin and we saluted Tillman’s ultimate sacrifice for our country. I teach my students Pat Tillman’s story every year. It’s amazing that a professional athlete and NFL player walked away from his career and millions of dollars to represent his country in the US Special Forces.
Go Pats. “We Are All Patriots!”

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