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Coughlin reflects on 9/11

Tom Coughlin watches his team practice at the

Tom Coughlin watches his team practice at the Timex Performance Center. (Aug. 10, 2011) Credit: Joe Epstein

Tom Coughlin wasn’t in New York 10 years ago. But a part of him certainly felt like it was.

“I can think of wanting my son to get as far away from there as fast as he could,” Coughlin said this week. His son, Tim, was in the second tower hit on that morning.

“We’re blessed that our son was able to get out of the second tower,” Coughlin said this week. “And I think that once he was safe, all of our emotions turned to those who weren’t as fortunate as we were.”

Coughlin, of course, has always had patriotism running through his veins. He and the players will have to choke those feelings down a bit today and focus on a football game.

“There are going to be emotions, no doubt. I feel very strongly on this subject, as most of you know,” Coughlin said. “I would be one to stand up and say for all of America not to ever forget 9/11, what happened to our country. I think we all have a responsibility to be on the alert now. That’s changed our lives in that way. We always salute the families that lost loved ones on 9/11, the three locations, and the heroic firemen and policemen and emergency people that were there, trying to save others. We always recognize that. Personally, I’ve been involved with traveling to Iraq to witness that particular battle against terrorism first-hand.

“You can feel how the league is going to recognize the tragedy that took place to this great country on 9/11/01. Recognizing the terrible loss of life and the people who have lost loved ones and recognizing the heroes, the firemen, the emergency people, the policemen, the people who immediately sacrificed their lives to save others. What it taught all of us about how we are responsible to a certain extent for our own safety in terms of being alert and recognizing it is a different world today. It is a different kind of warfare and we have to be really alert and aware of that fact. We have been taught a very different and radical lesson from this and our lives have changed. The world has changed and I don’t think you can help that.

“My own personal feelings have to do with being close to General (Raymond T.) Odierno (the former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and the current Chief of Staff of the Army) and being in Iraq and seeing a little bit of the world and how it reacts to terrorism … I read about the guy that died because his lungs were ruined by breathing the debris. There were so many ways people were affected by this terrible tragedy.”

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