The year 2001 was supposed to be one of excitement and happiness for Travis Kvapil. He had just moved to the Charlotte, N.C., area to pursue his dream of driving in one of NASCAR's national series. But, like many others, Kvapil will mostly remember 2001 as the year of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
"I remember September 11th, for me, just being a normal day," Kvapil recalls. "It was my first year living in the Charlotte area and my first year in the Truck Series. I remember taking my daughter to school and coming back home and turning on the TV and just not really even understanding what I was looking at and not realizing that this was really happening."
As NASCAR prepares to mark the 10-year anniversary of "9/11" during the upcoming race weekend, Kvapil voices an increased appreciation for civil servants - the firefighters, police officers and emergency medical personnel whose behind-the-scenes efforts can sometimes go unnoticed.
"The events that happened that day, for me, just made me think about the innocent lives that were lost - people who were just going about their normal daily lives, doing nothing out of the ordinary," Kvapil continues. "Over 2,000 people were killed for no reason. And all the firefighters and policemen and EMTs who were on the scene trying to help - many of them lost their lives, too. For me, it makes me think about all the things that happen daily behind the scenes - the firefighters, policemen and those types of people - and how much more you appreciate them after 9/11 happened.
"We'll be remembering that day and thinking of all those people when we go to Richmond this weekend on the 10-year anniversary of that day. NASCAR has always been good at showing its appreciation for our military and civil service workers. Even though the anniversary will be a somber event, we'll try to make it a good day for the representatives of those groups that are there."
Kvapil will return to the No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford for Saturday night's Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Pre-race ceremonies will pay tribute to members of the military and civil service as part of the 10-year anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001.
Front Row Motorsports PR