Professional sports have returned to the nation's capital, one week after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. In a pre-season National Hockey League game, the Washington Capitals took on the Philadelphia Flyers. Attendance for the game was light and security was tighter than usual. But most fans did not seem to mind the new precautions, which include a prohibition on any large bags coming into the arena.
The National Hockey League game, which had been postponed from Saturday because of the terrorist attacks, was supposed to focus on the debut of superstar Jaromir Jagr in a Washington Capitals uniform. But the game seemed to many fans to be an act of defiance toward those responsible for the terrorist attacks. "I think it's great," said Larry Lobe, a fan from Virginia. "I think it's time to get the country back to acting like we're normal. Showing the bad guys, whoever they may be, that they can't hurt us. They can't stop us from living."
Before the first face off, both teams lined up together in a show of unity as a moment of silence was observed for the victims of last week's attacks.
After an enthusiastic singing of the national anthem, the puck was dropped and hockey was played to the cheers of a crowd that seemed at least momentarily distracted from the tragic events of the past week.