As the country reflects on the events of September 11, 2001, I think it's appropriate in this blog to acknowledge one way in which the day was commemorated back in 2001.
On November 17, 2001, Auburn University and the University of Alabama would meet in the Iron Bowl, their annual rivalry game. What happened at halftime made history. For the first time, the University of Alabama Million Dollar Marching Band and the Auburn University Marching Band took the field together in a showing of the unity of the American people.
I've expressed before my view on mass bands: In most cases, I don't like them. Regardless of how buddy-buddy two programs may be, the fact remains that on game day, you are supporting teams that are lining up on opposite ends of the field, and, at least in game sense, you are enemies. But that was one of the things that made this performance that much more meaningful. These weren't just two teams that happened to be matched up with one another for one night of football. These are schools that hate each other 400 days out of every 365 day year. And yet, their two bands came together for something larger than themselves in a showing of unity.
I wish it was possible to find on Youtube or somewhere, but I do have it on mp3, and I'll leave you with the words that introduced the two programs:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, today is a special day in Iron Bowl history and the great state of Alabama. For the first time, our two great universities share the field at halftime in an unprecedented event and come together as one as we pay tribute to the greatest country on Earth in a salute to America. Under the joint direction of Kathryn Scott and Dr. Rick Good, the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band and the Auburn University Marching Band open with the Theme from 2001, a year in our nation's history when we put aside our differences to stand together in support of our great country, the United States of America."