Salem, Va. (WDBJ7) The Maroon Crush 12 and under softball team is paying tribute to the fallen firefighters of 9/11 in the First Responders Cup Tournament this weekend in Washington, D.C.
The team met at Salem Fire Department's Station No. 1 Wednesday evening to unveil the jerseys they're wearing for the tournament. Each jersey has a name on the back of a firefighter who was killed in the 9/11 attacks. They also wrote letters to the firefighters’ families.
"I think it's a real good opportunity because we're showing respect to all of the firefighters that served for our country," said Maroon Crush Catcher, Elly Lackey.
Meeting at the Salem firehouse also has significance, because they have two beams from the Twin Towers in front of the station as a memorial, and it also gave the girls a chance to meet some local firefighters, before visiting Station No. 5 in Arlington Friday, which was one of the stations that responded to the Pentagon on 9/11. For the team, it's a chance to learn about history and honor the memory of those lost.
"The team's very excited to honor all these firefighters that first helped in the 9/11 attack and we're just really honored to play for them," said Maroon Crush Pitcher, Austyn Moran.
"Well it was important for us to educate these girls on 9/11 because they weren't born in 2001 when all this took place,” said Maroon Crush Coach, Jenna Moran. “For me it was about educating them and making sure that they understood the magnitude of this day."
“They're always excited for a softball tournament,” said Maroon Crush Head Coach, Joe Lackey. “But I really don't think initially that they had a clue of what it was really all about. As we've dug into it, to see them start to get it and understand means a lot."