Through all of the tributes, montages, and heartfelt memorials, one particular New York tribute from the sports world caught my eye.

The tribute came from a Canadian, of all people! That person was Leylah Fernandez, a 19-year old tennis player, who competed in the finals of the 2021 U.S. Open. After defeating defending champion, Naomi Osaka, in three sets, Fernandez advanced to the finals, before ultimately falling to Emma Raducanu. Despite the loss, Fernandez emerged as a winner in the hearts of many for her heartfelt message to the state of New York, which was hosting the U.S. Open final on September 11th.

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This is the definition of wise beyond your years.

This comment from Fernandez elated the crowd, which had already witnessed a riveting U.S. Open final. The emotion with which Fernandez delivered this message was palpable, and showed how much she meant the words that she said. On the twentieth anniversary of the fateful day, New York residents were put through the emotional ringer. The New York Mets and Yankees came together to create a stirring tribute, and messages of remembrance rang out across television, radio and social media.

Clearly, Fernandez was moved by the emotion of the entire day, and was inspired by the resilience of a people who went through a tragedy that she may not remember, but can still sympathize with.

When I originally watched this video on Twitter, it struck me. I was three years old in September of 2001, and have zero recollection of anything that happened on that day. That said, I know countless people who do remember it, and have gone to them for memories and wisdom, and have watched television highlights from news stations like Good Morning America and others.

While I don't remember it either, I can sympathize with those that lived it, and truly respect and admire Leylah Fernandez for her brave statement last weekend.

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