Since Friday was the 19th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, I thought I’d touch on that and a bit on my return to the Log Cabin Democrat.
On Sept. 11, 2001, my family had not yet made it to Conway.
We were still living in Springfield, Missouri, and would do so for five more years.
On that day, I was just under a month into my fourth grade year at Alice Pittman Elementary. I was 10 years old.
While I don’t remember my teachers talking about the events of that day, I do remember getting into my dad’s car after he picked me up from school that day.
He had the radio on and it was an obvious broadcast of a news report following what was going on.
At that age, I didn’t really understand the magnitude of what happened, but I knew that it was horrific.
I do remember, however, that as a country, we stopped everything.
Sports stopped for a few days, and sports helped take people’s minds off of the horrific attacks in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.
I remember the New York Mets played games where first responders and their families were present. It was such a momentous occasion, and one I will never forget.
It was a time where everyone put aside their differences and became united.
We all know that this country is quite divided now, and I absolutely hate that. I long for a country as united as we were after those attacks.
But again, reflecting on that day, I realized I never had seen the coverage or the scope of what people were feeling that day.
Thursday night, I pulled up YouTube on my phone and searched 9/11 videos. I watched with a heavy heart of what occurred that day.
One particular video struck me the most as I watched a CNN broadcast that had a view of the second plane disappearing behind the already struck North World Trade Center Tower.
Seconds later, a plume of orange and gray smoke emerged from the second tower.
My heart sank when I saw that second plane come into view.
Thousands of people went to work and got on a flight that day, not knowing anything like that would happen.
Looking back on it as an adult, it is painful knowing many people would not see their family members ever again and the fear that those attacks instilled.
Similarly, COVID-19 forced several things to shut down, including a temporary shut down of sports.
When the NCAA announced it would not hold the NCAA Tournament, everything seemed to be set in motion that we were going to temporarily be without sports.
At the time, I didn’t know how temporary that would be, but it directly affected me and my family.
As you may have noticed, I had a nearly four-month absence from writing for the Log Cabin Democrat.
I was furloughed April 9 and did not return to work until Sept. 3.
Throughout that time, I was hoping sports would be able to find a way to safely return because I not only wanted my job back, but I knew that sports would provide an escape from the thoughts of COVID.
Sports do look a lot differently because of COVID, but they are here.
I was perfectly fine taking a role at the LCD reporting news until a sports story popped up or sports came back, but I wasn’t given that chance.
I was ready to come back every day, but that call to come back didn’t come for nearly four months.
To be completely candid, I was upset and some days I felt depression coming on because no matter how hard I tried to work or find work, nothing came open, no calls to come back to the LCD.
I don’t like sitting at home doing nothing, and that became difficult, especially when local sports returned and I could not cover them that first week.
But, when I finally received the call to come back, it was the happiest I had been since finding out my wife and I are pregnant.
I am glad to be back. Truthfully, I am blessed to be back and have coworkers and a boss that fought for me to return.
I love writing about sports, and telling stories and am glad to be back doing just that.
With that said, if there is any story and coverage that I have missed or you want to be included, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.