New York City is a place that is known for its resilience and its citizens who are willing to make great sacrifices for their communities. It is remarkable how in the wake of tragedy people are able to come together to honor those who have made such sacrifices, and to move forward with dignity and strength.

It’s been 12 years since the awful events of 9/11 shook New York City and the entire country; while the tragedy irrevocably changed NYC, the people of New York are interested only looking towards the future, and honoring those who are dedicated to keeping them safe. Last Saturday, the New York Cosmos, in conjunction with the FDNY and NYPD hosted their “Heroes Night” at Shuart Stadium before and during the match against Minnesota United.

Never forget

The events of 9/11 irrevocably changed NYC.
Glynnis Jones /

Heroes Night is an opportunity to honor the first responders who gave their lives during 9/11, as well as to honor all active military personnel, and local FDNY and NYPD members. The nightlong event included a soccer youth clinic led by the FDNY and NYPD soccer teams prior to the match, and special ceremonies honoring war veterans and active duty firefighters and police officers. The Cosmos recognized FDNY and NYPD members after their pre-game warm-ups and throughout the match, as well as honorees from the Sergio Villanueva Endowed Soccer Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship Fund was created to assist a Hofstra University student-athlete in pursuing a college education, and to celebrate the life of Villanueva, a New York City firefighter and avid soccer play who sacrificed his life during 9/11.

Heroes Night was an evening dedicated to the heroes of 9/11 and active duty military, FDNY and NYPD members. The event was made possible by the United Service Organizations, “Tickets for Troops,” the New York Cosmos, local donors such as Carl Mattone of the Mattone Group, the FDNY and NYPD, and the heroic, unwavering NYC people. Its focus on community leaders, the pursuit of higher education, and athletics is indicative of the resilient spirit of New York, a city that is able to move forward and inspire the heroes of tomorrow.

Cover Image: Glynnis Jones /

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