It’s been 11 years since the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001. It doesn’t seem that long ago since the world watched in shock and disbelief at what was unfolding before our eyes. It doesn’t feel like 11 years ago, but it is.

I won’t begin to presume to write anything here that hasn’t already been said or express an emotion that hasn’t been felt 1,000 times over by those who lost friends, family and loved ones that terrible morning. If what we witnessed that day is still fresh in my mind, I can’t imagine what it must be like for them.

Having been fortunate enough to work in the same circles as Los Angeles Kings scouts Mark Bavis and Garnet "Ace" Bailey, who both perished that morning, during my years on the beat covering the Edmonton Oilers, doesn’t put me in the same emotional place as so many others who’ll mark this day.

This, as those with a stake in the great game of hockey, emotional and otherwise, await word on if or when we’ll have a 2012-13 NHL season – the juxtaposition with what we saw 11 years ago makes that seem remarkably unimportant – is just my way of taking a moment to reflect out loud. This is a hockey website, after all, and not the place to delve deeper than that.

Bless you, Ace. I miss that big toothy grin of yours. So many people do. Bless you, Mark. Bless everyone who didn’t make it home that day. Bless the mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters whose lives forever changed on September 11, 2001.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I met Ace when I was a 17 year old rink rat hanging out at the Coliseum during high school lunch breaks in ’78. He signed a broken stick for me and we spoke for a minute. He was a decent man and like all who perished that day I am sure he is sadly missed and fondly remembered. God truly moves in mysterious ways.

  • paul wodehouse

    …Thankyou Robin

    lest we forget…I broke bread and enjoyed great times with Ace over the years back in the day…his widow still raises money in his name via the Ace Bailey Foundation …I always email a message at the site and she always says thankyou for keeping his memory alive…

    • Ace was with the Oilers for my first five years in Edmonton. I got a real kick out of sitting around and talking hockey with a player I’d watched win Stanley Cups with Boston as a kid. Loved the Bruins then.

      Garnet was one of the first scouts Jim Matheson introduced me to when he was showing me around the rink my first month here.

  • paul wodehouse

    Robin…he woulda been a treat to meet right outta the gate when you got there…he was generous to a fault and couldn’t be more welcoming…a true gem of a man…

    i sent the site this and got this reply

    … i will always remember you Ace for being so kind and welcoming during my years around the team you loved so much … now being an old retired Oiler fan I will pray that one day we’ll feel each others’ energy again in heaven where you surely are…God bless

    paul wodehouse

    Barbara Pothier

    8:05 AM (1 hour ago)

    Thank you very much for your kind words Paul and for remembering Ace to his family on this day. It means a lot that you took the time. Thank you very much.

    Best wishes,

    Barbara ( Ace’s sister-in-law )

    Executive Director
    Ace Bailey Children’s Foundation
    135 Langdon Street
    Providence, RI 02904

  • Rob...

    My thoughts and prayers go to those who lost loved ones during the 9-11 attack. They go out two-fold to the Emergency Personnel who perished while serving the citizens in peril. Likewise, the brave few on Flight 93 who prevented an even bigger disaster from occurring… you’ll live on in my memories until my dying day.

  • vetinari

    I remember getting ready for work that morning when news of the first plane striking the towers broke and then watching the tv in disbelief as I wondered how a pilot could make such an error… and then the truth slowly poured out by the time that the second plane struck the second tower as a third went for the Pentagon… I also remember how the tone of that day changed for everyone, even for those being hundreds or thousands of miles away, as they thought of friends and their families affected by these sad and unfortunate events… I never had the good fortune to meet Ace, Mark or any of the others that lost their lives that day, but may each of you rest in peace and may your legacies and memories live on.

  • GiftedGregerius

    We should also take a moment to think about the hundreds of thousands of people (military service men and women, as well as civillians) that have died since the events of September 11 changed out world. Puts our worries about a hockey lock-out into perspective, especially when you dont have to worry about random drone attacks.