- Associated Press - Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington are being held at college football games throughout the nation.

At West Point, the U.S. Military Academy distributed miniature American flags to fans entering Michie Stadium for Saturday’s game against Hawaii.

While leading his teammates onto the field before the coin toss, Army linebacker Sean Westphal carried an American flag that was flown at Ground Zero.

The flag was also on the field during a halftime presentation when the Academy honored first responders who answered the call at the World Trade Center. “God Bless America” was performed by Mary Kay Messenger of the U.S. Military Academy band.

“Today, at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, we celebrate ‘Salute to Heroes’ day,” said Lt. Gen. David Huntoon, superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy. “We remember and pay our deepest respects to all those who were there in Manhattan, Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon on that day that changed America forever.”

Army junior James MacGibbon, a lacrosse player from Dallas, said “it’s really special and makes you think about why we signed up and came here to try to protect this country.”

David and Peggy Beamer, the parents of Todd Beamer, who coined the words “Let’s Roll” on United Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, were introduced to the crowd of more than 105,000 before the Ohio State-Miami game in Columbus, Ohio. Also welcomed was the family of Ed Felt, who slipped away during the hijacking to call and alert authorities.

And in Lincoln, Neb., the names of the five people from Nebraska who were killed in the attacks were shown on the big screen at Memorial Stadium.

And at the Air Force Academy, there was a steel girder from the World Trade Center on display in front of the flag pole outside Falcon Stadium. People were taking pictures of it before the game against BYU.