Amid season opener, Eagles fans pause to remember 9/11

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- From dance parties to parking lot competitions to fresh-baked peach pies, Eagles fans were out in full force Sunday for the season opener against the Cleveland Browns.

"If you can make it in an oven or make it on a stove, you can do it on a grill," said David Jayne of Levittown, Pennsylvania.

"I think it's exciting," said Greg Buchanan of Essington, Pennsylvania.

But for the veterans in the crowd, like David Jayne and his friends, today wasn't just a tailgate - it was a day to mark a solemn anniversary.

"9/11 itself is really important to me, being in the military and being in law enforcement. Knowing that so many law enforcement and firefighters and civilians lost their lives that day," said David Jayne of Levittown, Pennsylvania.

Tailgaters flew their flags at half-staff.

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Vice President Joe Biden marked the Sept. 11 anniversary right here in Philadelphia.

During the national anthem before kickoff, 120 first responders held the American flag on the field. They were joined by Vice President Joe Biden.

It's the first time since Biden's been in office that he hasn't taken part in an official 9/11 ceremony at one of the attack sites.

"Our Vice President is a very, very dedicated fan - his whole family - and represents our country very well," said Mike Annone of Wilmington, Delaware.

We spoke with one woman in the National Guard, and this is her very first Eagles game. She says there's no where she'd rather be than sharing this experience with her mother, who's a veteran and a first responder.

"It's definitely a mix of emotions. Patriotic like we are, our family is super patriotic. Siblings just left for basic training, and I've been in for nine years," said Ashley Epps of Shillington, Pennsylvania.

"Football is America's sport, and being here on 9/11 gives us the memories of those we've lost and gave us the opportunity to be here," said Maria Torielli, Ashley's mom.
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