A hush fell over the crowd as the 9/11 video played on the scoreboard of Toyota Field in Madison.

There were scenes of the airliners crashing into the World Trade Center. There were audio clips of the emergency calls from cellphones that fateful day. There was audio of final calls from victims to their loved ones at home.

The 1,000 or so people in the stands watched in silence during this portion of the pregame ceremonies. So did the players on both softball teams: the

USA Patriots and the BeArded WARRIORs.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who cried as we watched the video. This was just part of an inspiring Sept. 11 night of tribute to service members and first responders and those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

We cheered the players on both teams. The USA Patriots players were service members who lost limbs in combat. The BeArded WARRIORs were veterans, first responders and law enforcement members from the Huntsville area.

The USA Patriots, the home team for this exhibition game, won 16-15 but that was secondary to the night’s significance. This was a triumph for the American spirit.

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