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9/11 Anniversary Sparks Big Community Effort At Sun Life Stadium

Posted Sep 11, 2012

Current and former players lend a hand for the troops.


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Eleven years ago today, former Miami Dolphins tight end Jed Weaver was on his way into the team’s practice facility in Davie to get treatment. He had slept in so he had no idea what was taking place in New York City.

“It was a day off on Tuesday and I was driving to work and there was a guy that always sold newspapers at the light and he came by knowing I played on the Dolphins and he asked me if I had seen what happened in New York with the plane,” said Weaver, who was in his third season in the NFL and second in Miami at the time. “When I got to the facility everyone was sitting there with mouths agape looking at the TV not knowing what was going on. To me it just seemed so surreal, like a movie to me, and so unbelievable.”

That memory sticks with Weaver to this day and he cannot believe that it’s been that long since the 9/11 attacks took place, which is one of the reasons he jumped at the chance to be at Sun Life Stadium to help prepare care packages for the troops overseas. Current Dolphins wide receiver Marlon Moore and offensive lineman Nate Garner, as well as a slew of Special Teams Volunteers joined Weaver, Keith Sims, Troy Drayton and O.J.McDuffie outside of Gate C and boxed up canned goods, personal hygiene products like toothbrushes, deodorant, soap and shampoo.

Since that tragic day, there has been a stronger call to arms when it comes to community service and specifically helping military families whole their loved ones continue to protect our freedoms. That’s what this effort, coordinated by the Miami Dolphins Special Teams Program, Driven by Chevy, was all about.

“The families that lost members in the attacks on 9/11 actually formed an organization called 9/11.org. So what they’ve done is they’ve turned September 11th into a National Day of Service,” said Leslie Nixon, manager of volunteer services for the Miami Dolphins. “They ask that the way you remember what happened on 9/11 to be a day of service and by you doing some sort of community service around your neighborhood in you’re area.

“So what we decided to do is turn this into a time where we actually say thank you to the troops. Since they’re serving for us we can do a little community service by packing some care packages to send over to them. We have lots of representation from the community and some wonderful groups that have come out and donated and brought thank you cards to send to the troops. Here we’re just putting them together in boxes and mailing them out. We have the post office here, who has been a wonderful partner and it lets the armed forces know we haven’t forgotten about them.”

Moore was a freshman in high school back in 2001 and remembers that day vividly as he was at his house getting ready to go to school. His mother told him about the attacks and he turned on the television in time to see footage of the Twin Towers with smoke billowing from both of the buildings.

One of Moore’s high school teachers had a son that worked at the World Trade Center but was stuck in traffic on the way into the city and managed to survive. So this is a day that means a lot to Moore and he also didn’t hesitate to participate.

“It means a lot to me to be able to assist these guys in any way, shape or form that I possibly can,” Moore said. “They’re the ones over there putting their lives on the line for the United States and helping protect me as well as my family and as well as everybody else over here. So it means a lot because they’re fans of us and we’re fans of them.”

Weaver has an even stronger connection to the beneficiaries of his charitable work today and hopes that all Americans understand the ramifications of that fateful day. His other hope is that the troops realize that they really are appreciated.

“It means the world and you hope that it means as much to them as what they do for our country means to us and the freedoms that we enjoy,” former Dolphins tight end Jed Weaver said. “I know a bunch of guys in the military and grew up with guys that have been in the military and it really is the most selfless act someone can do for this country and for their family.”
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