Missouri Tigers to pay tribute to 9/11 first responders with special helmet decal

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri Tigers will take the field on Saturday, 20 years after the 9/11 attacks killed nearly 3,000 people.

To honor some of the victims, the Tigers will have a special decal on their helmets when they play Kentucky Saturday evening, according to head coach Eli Drinkwitz.

“We play on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, this Saturday. And as part of our uniform on our helmets we’re gonna be wearing this ‘never forget 343’ decal. It’s honoring the 343 first responders who gave their life on 9/11,” Drinkwitz said during his weekly news conference in Columbia.

Of the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2021, 343 of the victims were members of the New York City Fire Department. They included a chaplain and two paramedics who rushed to help after the planes flew into the twin towers.

“An opportunity for us to say thank you to those brave souls and to their families for the sacrifices that they’ve made and to represent a truly some heroic individuals from that day,” Drinkwitz said.

Drinkwitz also said he can remember exactly where he was the minute he learned about the terror attacks 20 years ago.

“I was at Arkansas Tech University,” Drinkwitz said. “I was in a physical science classroom auditorium and the professor walked maybe a couple minutes late and told us what happened, canceled class. I walked back to my dorm watched coverage. Actually my car was in the shop in Little Rock and somebody took me to Little Rock to pick up my car and I remember the gas lines in the gas stations were really long and it was a scary day.”

Other tributes are planned on 9/11 leading up to Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. kickoff in Lexington.

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