In September of 2001, the New York Rangers were scheduled to hold training camp at Chelsea Piers in NYC and stay in the Marriot Hotel at the World Trade Center.
Fortunately for the 60-man roster, including NHL Hall of Famer Mark Messier, the dressing rooms weren’t adequate and the team was moved to Madison Square Garden. When tragedy struck on one of the darkest days in American history, the NHL team realized they could have just as easily lost their lives on 9/11.
Ten years later, Mark Messier is honoring the families of the victims who could not avoid perishing with the Twin Towers. The retired athlete is running the New York City Marathon on behalf of Tomorrow’s Children Fund, which benefits the wives and widows of the attacks.
Speaking on his commitment to giving back to the victim's families, Messier said:
“The meditation part of running has been very therapeutic for me. I didn’t expect that. It gave me a chance to reflect on my own life and the things that’ve transpired in the last 10 years since 9/11 … and what were the circumstances that kept [the Rangers] from training camp at the World Trade Center that fatal morning and for all the people that weren’t so lucky. So it’s a great opportunity to bring awareness, and really kind of do something for those people so that we never forget.”
Messier acknowledges he was lucky to have escaped a sad fate by circumstance, but others were not so fortunate, continuing:
“I’m only one New Yorker whose life was altered that day for many different reasons. Some weren’t so lucky. Others for whatever reason were spared. Then you ask yourself, well, ‘What was it that we decided to call it off,’ you start to ask yourself those questions and what you realize is that you have a responsibility to help, because a lot of families got torn apart.’’
We're so happy to see celebs running this marathon for such great causes!
The former hockey player will be joined by other famous faces running for charities, including Olympic skater Apolo Ohno, softball pitcher Jennie Finch and former supermodel Christy Turlington.
Good luck guys!
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: 9-11, athlete, benefit, cause, charity, hockey hall of fame, mark messier, new york city marathon, new york rangers, nhl, retired, september 11, terrorist attacks, the world trade center, tomorrow-039s children fund