The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 6, 2013

Shawn Wood's column on motorsports: Never forget the day

Daily Item

---- — For those of us who grew up in the 1970s, we had some great television shows.

From hour-long sitcoms to dramas, they don't make TV shows like they used to.

Thankfully, since we didn't have DVRs or VCRs or even the Internet back then, we are able to watch these shows again today through Memorable Entertainment Television.

One of the shows that was on recently was the crime-drama police show Kojak.

Starring Telly Savalas as Lt. Theo Kojack of the 11th Precinct of Manhattan South, the show often features picturesque scenes of the World Trade Centers.

Next Wednesday, at 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, we'll pause for a moment of silence to remember when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower, the start of the terrorist attacks 12 years ago that turned a bright, sunny day, to a dark one.

During a recent airing of Kojak, which featured former NFL player and Penn State alum Rosey Grier as private investigator on a case from San Francisco, the camera panned from the top of the World Trade Centers down to street level where the bad guy was making a phone call a few blocks away.

It was surreal to see the towers majestically soaring 110 stories high again. From the scenes in Kojak to the opening scene of Barney Miller, there will be constant reminders of the Twin Towers.

This year, for the first time since the attacks, the new Freedom Tower is standing at 1,776 feet tall.

It does seem strange to be in lower Manhattan and not see the Towers as one of my best friends, Firefighter Patrick O'Donnell, works for the Fire Department of New York at the famed 10 House (Engine 10/Ladder 10) which is still standing across the street from the sight of the attack.

The Freedom Tower, which will be known as One World Trade Center, began construction in 2006 and was finished on May 10 of this year.

Each year, members of the FDNY and New York Police Department face off in baseball, football, hockey and other sports.

In this year's 41st Fun City Bowl football game, the PD won 17-10. In the hockey game, played at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, home of the New York Islanders, the FD won its fifth straight game over the PD, 3-2.

The baseball team saved the best for last in the big three games as they got a 3-2, bottom-of-the 11th inning walk-off win at Cyclone Stadium in Brooklyn. Mike Molinini (Engine 158, Staten Island), stroked out a two-out, two-strike triple in the bottom of the inning and scored the wining run on a sacrifice fly.

Win or lose these game, there is not a day that goes by that every member of the FDNY doesn't recall that day when the department suffered its greatest single-day loss of life at 343 firefighters.

The group of low-life, scum-of-the-earth cowards who attacked our great nation that day thought they had taken down the greatest nation in the world.

Since July 4, 1776, our resolve to fight and protect the freedom we enjoy will continue to endure thanks to the brave men and women who serve in our military, both at home and abroad. It will also endure because of those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our great nation.

It has and will always be the resolve of Americans to never quit.

Let's Roll!

n Shawn Wood covers motorsports for The Daily Item. With the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack, he decided to forego his usual motorsports column this week to pay tribute to those who serve our country. Comments can be sent to