In Milestone Anniversary Year, Army-Navy Rivalry Game Takes On New Layer of Meaning

  • December 11, 2021
A half circle of kilted bagpipe players on the Memorial
Photo by Jin S. Lee

West Point’s Army Black Knights and the Naval Academy’s Midshipmen face off in their annual football game this Saturday at MetLife Stadium. Their football rivalry - dating all the way back to 1890 - is fierce, but it's also come to represent the true spirit of sportsmanship, teamwork, and camaraderie within the Armed Forces."

Floral wreath at the base of the Survivor Tree, which displays yellow and orange fall foliage

Freshly-laid wreath at Survivor Tree

Ahead of their highly anticipated match-up, members from both academies paid tribute this morning to the victims of 9/11 and the servicemen who defended our country in the aftermath. Fifty cadets and midshipmen gathered at the Survivor Tree for a joint wreath-laying ceremony, featuring performances by the U.S. Military Academy Glee Club and the U.S. Naval Academy Pipes & Drums.

The two teams received tremendous public support throughout their 2001 season, both home and on the road. They played their first post-9/11 game on December 1, 2001; it drew more television viewers than any college football game between 2000 and 2010.

Bearded man in blue winter jacket stands at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum podium, with American flag on left

Joe Quinn speaking at the wreath-laying ceremony. Photo: Jin S. Lee

"The 9/11 Memorial is not a place of sadness, but a place of resilience and unity. Twenty years ago, we were never more united as a country, and I personally felt that unity as neighbors and Americans across the country lifted my family after we lost our brother Jimmy on that day in the North Tower,” said Joe Quinn, one of our Visionaries in Service

He continued, “As a West Point grad, I'll be pulling for Army this weekend, but while Army and Navy will be adversaries on the football field, we'll be allies on the battlefield. After the game is over, and no matter who sings second, cadets, midshipmen, old grads, veterans, and great Americans will stand in unity, the way we stood together 20 years ago."

Tune in to CBS December 11 at 3 pm ET to watch this rivalry play out on the football field.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

Previous Post

Vernacular Art Connects 9/11 and Pearl Harbor

Graffiti mural depicting the Twin Towers on a smoke-filled city block with the text "A Day That Will Live in Infamy." On the other side, a giant American flag amid city street signs and the text "United We Stand."

Following September 11, the artist and photographer Jonathan C. Hyman set out to document the country's vernacular artistic response to the attacks. For the next 10+ years, he took thousands of pictures of tributes painted on public and private property in Maine, Florida, Illinois, and all points in between. Now, on the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we speak with Hyman and spotlight a few of the photos that thematically tie the World War II tragedy to 9/11.

View Blog Post

Next Post

Save the Date: 9/11 Memorial & Museum 5K Run/Walk

Right: Smiling runners mid-step, wearing dark branded 9/11 Museum tees. Left: Copy provides details of the 5K Walk/Run.

Newly announced: our 5K Walk/Run is back in-person this year! It'll take place on Sunday, April 24, so save the date and stay tuned for registration details. 

View Blog Post