Sept. 20, 2001
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Western Kentucky University will hold pregame ceremonies Saturday to honor both the victims and the many people who have fought to save lives following the national attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., prior to the kickoff of the Hilltoppers' Gateway Football Conference contest with Southwest Missouri State at L.T. Smith Stadium/Jimmy Feix Field.
The ceremonies will begin approximately 20 minutes before the scheduled 1:30 p.m. (CDT) start, with the game set to be televised on Fox Sports Net Ohio and Fox Sports Net Midwest. There will be a moment of silence held to honor the victims of last week's national tragedy. Members of the fire and police departments, emergency medical services, rescue squads, the Red Cross and members of the Kentucky National Guard will be recognized on the field as WKU also pays tribute to those whose jobs require protecting and saving lives.
"It is our intention to honor America, as well as show symbolic support for those who lost their lives or loved ones, in last week's horrific tragedy," WKU Director of Athletics Dr. Wood Selig said. "In recognizing our local police, fire fighters, EMT and Red Cross personnel, we are honoring all individuals across America who serve in a life-supporting capacity. We hope and trust the local community will show their support at the game Saturday as well."
Additional security - double the amount normally in attendance for Western football games - will also be on hand, staffing each of the four entrance gates and stations throughout the stadium in addition to their normal posts. The entire Western Kentucky Police Department will work the contest.
Up to an additional 3,000 extra fans are expected to be on hand as the WKU campus plays host to Parents Weekend and Focus on Western.
The policy at the gates dictates that purses, diaper bags for small children, cameras and binoculars will be allowed into the stadium, though all will be subject to search. Coolers, backpacks and any other kind of travel bag will not be allowed in.
"We apologize if this is an inconvenience to fans," said Craig Biggs, Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations. "Even though this could create delays, we feel that recent events dictate that it's more important to ensure the safety of our fans, student-athletes and staff."
The game will be the Toppers' first since the tragic events of Sept. 11 - Western's game at Wisconsin scheduled last week was moved to Sept. 29.