Scott Strasemeier: Navy’s associate athletics director for sports information is currently in his 21st year at the Academy. Read more
Brian Stann: A former Navy linebacker, Stann graduated in 2003 and went on to serve two tours in combat overseas. He received the Silver Star for his leadership in battle in Iraq. Read more
John Dowd: The senior offensive guard for Navy is a native of Staten Island, N.Y., and was 11 years old on 9/11. On Sept. 11, 2010, Dowd ran onto the field for a game against Georgia Southern carrying an American flag that had previously been flown over special-operations bases in Afghanistan, raised at the World Trade Center site, and will be returned to Ground Zero for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Read more
Ben Bertelson: The junior baseball student-athlete and management major at Air Force was in his fifth grade classroom in Midland, Texas, when the events of 9/11 occurred. Read more
Andy Berg: The current assistant men’s ice hockey coach at Air Force was a junior at the Academy during 9/11. Read more
Randee Farrell: Farrell was the senior captain of the Army women’s soccer team in 2001. She currently is a marketing officer for the university and the officer representative for the women’s soccer team. Read more
James Flowers: Flowers was coach of the Army softball team when the events of 9/11 occurred. He retired from the athletics department in 2009 and witnessed his recruits take on a greater sense of purpose and a greater pride wearing the West Point uniform. Read more
Charles Wynne: The current director of image management and strategy at the NCAA national office worked for the public relations staff for the U.S. Air Force. Wynne was at the Pentagon on 9/11. Read more
William Walker: The vice director of athletics at Air Force is also a 1983 graduate of the Academy. Read more
Brian Lorusso: Senior Cadet Brian LoRusso grew up on Long Island and was barely a teenager on Sept. 11, 2001. He is the captain of the Army lacrosse team that also includes his younger brother, Larry. His two older brothers, Nick and Kevin, also played on the team. The international and comparative legal studies major will graduate a second lieutenant and, depending on where he is stationed, could see combat. Nick and Kevin have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively. Read more
As the nation prepares to acknowledge the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this Sunday, NCAA.org asked select student-athletes and staff from some of the Association’s service academies about how the tragic events of 2001 affected their lives.
Student-athletes either from the graduating class of 2002 or 2003 talk about the immediate impact of 9/11, and current student-athletes who will be graduating now after the death of Osama bin Laden reflect on 10 years of post-9/11 life. Also, staff who were at their schools 10 years ago offer their perspective on both then and now.
» 12/11/13 - Born to serve
» 12/4/13 - No obstacles
» 11/26/13 - Student-athletes among 2014 Rhodes Scholars
Photos by Gregg Matalas, Director of Marketing / Blue & Gray, USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation
Perhaps one of the most poignant recognitions of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 occurred before a football game between two institutions that were directly involved in the tragedy’s aftermath.
Superintendent and Rear Admiral P.H. Greene Jr. (class of 1978) sent the following message to the Merchant Marine regiment, faculty and staff on the day of the football game with Coast Guard:
“As we find ourselves on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, I wanted to take a moment to reflect upon that day, and upon those horrific events that profoundly changed our nation and our lives.
“That morning, 2,977 civilians, military personnel and emergency workers were killed in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Sadly, we lost two Kings Pointers at the World Trade Center (Bob Colin ’74 and Gil Granados ’75). I know that many other Kings Pointers, as well as some of our own midshipmen, faculty and staff, experienced the personal loss of friends, neighbors and family members that day. Since then, over 6,000 Americans have been killed serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including Aaron Seesan ’03, Frankie Toner ‘06, and Will Donnelly ’08, leaving behind families and friends. The human cost has been incalculable, and like other wars and losses of life, the impact upon each of us will not be fully understood or comprehended for years to come.
“The Academy can be very, very proud of its efforts of 10 years ago, as our faculty, staff and midshipmen heeded their nation’s call to provide support and relief for the victims and emergency personnel who stood into harm’s way. That kind of immediate response reflects the ‘can do’ spirit of service that runs through the blood of every Kings Pointer. Whether we are serving at sea or working ashore, the qualities of professionalism, dedication and perseverance that we inculcate in our midshipmen from Indoctrination through Graduation have become part of our Academy’s reputation, culture and inherent character.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation recently produced a video that documented the maritime community’s response to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, which prominently features the involvement of the Academy’s own personnel. I am honored to say that this video is now featured on the White House blog (including a prominent image on the video image link of our TV GROWLER!) (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/09/07/ten-years-later-rescue-water-s-edge). If you weren’t aware, over 180 midshipmen, faculty and staff from Kings Point provided personnel and vessel support to FDNY and other agencies from Sept. 11-19, 2001, for which the Academy received the DOT Outstanding Unit Award in 2002.
“On Sunday morning, Sept. 11, 2011, I will take a moment out for my own personal reflection to remember those who were lost and to recommit myself to staying the course. I encourage each of you to do the same, whether alone or in the company of friends and family. We can all be proud of who we are, and what Kings Point represents to our nation.”
P.H. Greene Jr. ’78
Rear Admiral, USMS
Two Division III Service Academies – the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, located in Kings Point, N.Y., and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. – played their annual rivalry game on Saturday. While the host Mariners won the game with just seconds to play, it was the joint regimental march-on during the pregame ceremonies that won the hearts of spectators from both schools.
The march-on included a contingent of Merchant Marine Academy alumni, faculty and staff who participated in the Academy’s relief and response efforts at the World Trade Center 10 years ago, and members of the Coast Guard who responded that day as part of what became Operation Guarding Liberty and Operation Noble Eagle.
During the ceremony, the following remarks were read:
“On Tuesday morning, Sept. 11, 2001, the midshipmen, faculty and staff of the United States Merchant Marine Academy were going about their daily routine, having held morning colors, and finishing first period classes. Elsewhere, men and women of the United States Coast Guard were well into their own routine, patrolling the waters of New York Harbor, conducting vessel boardings, or responding to distress calls by air and by sea.
“By mid-morning, however, the lives of these men and women, young and old, were changed forever, as they came to the aid of their nation. Personnel were quickly mobilized and vessels were deployed by two of our nation’s most respected sea services, as they heeded the call of duty, of sacrifice, of service.
“Men and women from Kings Point – including 91 midshipmen – manned vessels to support the response effort for nine days, moving emergency workers throughout New York Harbor, shuttle supplies between Jersey City, Brooklyn and Manhattan, and providing EMT services for some of the thousands of relief personnel and construction workers at Ground Zero.
“In New York Harbor, the men and women of the United States Coast Guard mobilized in force, securing the port, supporting rescue and recovery efforts, all while maintaining access to our commercial waterways. Across the nation, thousands of Coast Guard personnel took to the seas and to the air to protect our homeland.
“Over the last decade, the graduates from Kings Point and New London have joined their brothers and sisters in the Merchant Marine and Coast Guard to protect the economic and security interests of the United States. All have served, and some have given their lives in the cause of freedom.
“Sept. 11 changed our nation, but it did not change our character. In times of crisis, the best comes out, as represented by the men and women who stand before you, who live by our own creed, service above self.”
As for the game, the dramatic ending epitomized the rivalry itself. Merchant Marine won when sophomore wide receiver Chase Dunn caught his third touchdown pass of the afternoon, a 32-yard throw from junior quarterback Stephen Sasso with eight seconds remaining to give the Mariners a 35-28 triumph.
“It was a typical game between these two institutions where it usually comes down to the last minute, and it did today,” said Merchant Marine head coach Mike Toop.
The victory gave the Mariners the “Secretaries’ Cup,” which is awarded to the winner.
Merchant Marine extended its lead in the Cup competition, 20-11, as well as in the all-time series between the two rival academies, 27-13.
Ironically, the annual Cup game used to be played in mid-November as the teams’ final regular-season game, but it was recently moved to the beginning of the season to accommodate Coast Guard’s move to the New England Football Conference. The 2010 contest in fact was actually played on Sept. 11.
Institutions throughout the NCAA took time to remember the events of 9-11-01 over the weekend.