According to NBC Chicago, several networks aired the tribute video before the NFL kickoffs at 1 p.m. ET. The league also shared the video via Twitter, including a heartfelt caption about the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
“The tragic events of September 11th, 2001 devastated our country 20 years ago. We remember those we lost and how we came together the day after the attacks, paving the way for healing and growth, followed by a special performance of our country’s National Anthem,” the NFL captioned the tweet.
Former FDNY firefighter Steve Buscemi narrated the first half of the beautiful 9/11 tribute video. He started off by discussing how we’re living in “unprecedented,” “uncertain,” and “challenging” times.
“Some would say as challenging as the country has ever faced,” Buscemi said. “Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time we’ve faced such a challenge.”
The video then cuts to footage from the day of the attack on the World Trade Center. We see clips of smoke billowing from the Twin Towers and people panicking in the streets on 9/11.
“Twenty years ago, this country was tested in a way we never had been before. Many believed we would never recover,” Buscemi continued. “We know very well that not to be the case. America faced her worst fears and heartbreak in 2001, on 9/11. This is the story of 9/12.”
NFL’s 9/11 Tribute Video Remembers Days After Tragedy
The NFL tribute video soon cuts to clips from the football games that occurred right after the tragedy, when Americans were still in shock.
“The day after, we picked each other up. We did it by having faith and belief in one another, and in something bigger than ourselves,” Steve Buscemi said while narrating. “We did it together, and we did it by remembering who we are. But more importantly, who we as Americans aspire to be.”
Buscemi continued by discussing how the day after 9/11 turned into the week after and the month after. The country realized that we needed to get back into our normal routines to show that we would not be broken by this horrific event. NFL games continued, just like many other things, providing us with the opportunity “to cheer again, to laugh again, to breathe again.”
“It’s 9/12 again today. Our country faces problems new and old, and seems as divided as we’ve ever been,” Buscemi concludes. “At our lowest points, we as a people find a way to rise the highest. As we remember and honor the memory of 9/11, let’s also never forget the lessons and spirit of 9/12.
“There is no problem we can’t solve, no obstacle we can’t overcome, no mountain we can’t climb together.”
The video finishes with a chilling rendition of the National Anthem by Juliette Candela. Her father, John Candela, lost his life at the World Trade Center during 9/11. As she sings, we see clips of different NFL players standing with their hands on their hearts, honoring the proud country we live in today.