Remembering 9/11

From NCAA.com

Fordham swim coach part of Ground Zero rescue team

Afghan QB helped heal himself, friends with play

Charleston track star honors father lost in tragedy

Video Photo Gallery narrated by TNT’s Jim Huber

In their own words

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

About the project

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.

Remembering 9/11

Publish date: Sep 8, 2011

In their own words: 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. 

I was in seventh grade when it happened. I remember it vividly. I live on Long Island, so when it happened there were a lot of kids who were called out of school. A lot of parents worked in the World Trade Center. Some of my classmates lost parents. There were former students who were lost. My former teacher’s best friend was lost.

“For me, (hearing that Osama bin Laden had been killed) brought the moment full circle. It was a very emotional time at the Academy because there were a lot of people who were affected by it.”

I knew people who lost their parents that day. There was a girl in my class who lost her dad. I had a small class – there were 215 kids – you knew everyone. In that way, I guess I did feel like this did hit a little harder for us than it did for other people.

By the end of the day, it was an empty school. I remember calling relatives living in Manhattan and they could see the smoke from the Towers. I remember it very vividly, unfortunately.

I never actually made it down there (immediately after the attack). There were people in my class who did go down there to help. My mom wouldn’t let me. I was still young. I was only 13 years old. Now traveling to the city often, I’ve been by there a few times.

You really can’t describe it. You’re trying to figure out where everything was, how the buildings were positioned. I tried to remember what it looked like from seeing it when I was younger. It was hard to visualize how things were and you just see this empty area and you’re in awe of the situation. You get that goose bump feeling across your whole body. Not many words can describe it.

I have three brothers. My oldest brother, Nick, graduated high school in 2003 and went direct admit to West Point. So he was one of the immediate classes to sign the commitment after we had declared war. I believe he was the second class to make the commitment during a time of war.

With my brother going, it instilled a little more patriotism in me. Then my other brother, Kevin, graduated from West Point in 2009. He is currently in Afghanistan. The first time I got to see him was this past weekend when he was home on his mid-tour leave.

My brother Nick had done a tour in Iraq and he returned last September. So, this past Christmas was the first time we all got to be together again in a year and a half.

I actually have another younger brother who is here at West Point with me. He’s a senior as well because I had to do a year of civilian and West Point prep just to get in to West Point. Nine years straight they’ve had a LoRusso at the Academy.

I guess my brothers, more so, made me want to do it (come to West Point).

Everyone likes to argue their perspective on the war, but I still remember being attacked and I guess my whole thing does root back to that. Seeing 9/11. Remembering what that felt like and using that as my drive.

For me, (hearing that Osama bin Laden had been killed) brought the moment full circle. It was a very emotional time at the Academy because there were a lot of people who were affected by it. Everyone was rejoicing together and chanting, “USA, USA!” People were singing the National Anthem.

When it was announced, the Academy pretty much stopped what it was doing and got together to discuss how they felt about it. It definitely was a full-circle feeling. A lot of us were talking about Sept. 11. It did bring it right back.

Seeing how it brought America together again was a great feeling. It really was something that was uplifting and that we got the person who was responsible for causing so much pain in the United States.

It’s actually going to be my grandparents’ 60th anniversary (this Sunday). So I’m going to be spending time with my family. In honor of it, my grandfather would like us to wear our uniforms. Personally, I’m just going to reflect again what it was like and pay a moment of silence to those who were lost.