There were no stirring speeches or grand remembrances, but there were a few tears Wednesday morning as Packers employees paid silent tribute to those who died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Lined up outside Lambeau Field's new Titletown Atrium, Packers employees watched the raising of a United States flag that had flown over the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center. The flag had been presented to the Packers by representatives of the New York City Fire Department prior to the August 30 preseason contest against the Tennessee Titans.
While the Packers normally fly four flags daily at 1265 Lombardi Ave. -- U.S. flag, State of Wisconsin flag and a pair of Packers flags -- only the U.S. flag was raised Wednesday.
"It's obviously a very emotional day around the country and I think we're very honored to have this flag," said Bob Harlan, Packers President/CEO. "It meant a lot to me that the firemen would come and deliver this and allow us to fly it.
"It's not shocking how the attacks affected this country, but to see the attitude in everyone's faces today, it's amazing the impact; it's changed all our lives. This will always be a very emotional day, no doubt about it."
Last year the Packers were due to face the Giants in New York immediately following the terrorist attacks, but that game and others the weekend of Sept. 16, 2001, were postponed in honor of the victims.
Consequently, the Packers' first game following the Sept. 11 attacks was a Monday night game against the Washington Redskins in Green Bay, Sept. 24. Much remembered from that evening was Packers linebacker Chris Gizzi, an Air Force graduate and reservist, leading his team onto the field carrying the U.S. flag, and the unfurling of a giant U.S.-shaped flag by Wisconsin police and firefighters, and players from both teams.