Air Force, Navy to play on 20th anniversary of September 11

Dec 10, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Army Black Knights linebacker Matt Sannella (55) carries an American flag out to the field with his teammates before a game against the Navy Midshipmen at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Air Force and Navy have altered the date of next year’s game to Sept. 11, a decision that recognizes the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The teams originally were scheduled to play on Oct. 2.

“We will use this nationally televised opportunity to reflect on the meaning of our freedom and the competitive spirit of our nation,” Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said in a statement. “Two service academies coming together to display our strength of unity and our determination to forever persevere.”

Air Force athletic director Nathan Pine said the decision to change the game is an “appropriate” one.

“This is an appropriate move for our country to have our Service Academies play on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 in celebration of our armed forces,” Pine said. “The game will be a fitting way to showcase the amazing future leaders of character from both academies on national television on this solemn anniversary. I would like to thank everyone involved for their cooperation and willingness to help make this a reality.”

The schools traditionally play on the first Saturday in October.

Navy will kick off its 2021 season at home against Marshall on Sept. 4, while Air Force will host Lafayette on the same day.

-Field Level Media