NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Filing onto Citi Field, standing uniform next to uniform, hundreds of New York City’s first responders join the New York Mets around the diamond before Wednesday’s game.

READ MORE: New Video Shows Crowd Duck For Cover During Shooting Outside Inwood Bar

“He was a Yankees fan. I’m not trying to make him mad or anything,” 12-year-old Jack McNamara said.

McNamara was at the game honoring his father, a firefighter who died of 9/11-related cancer 10 years ago, when jack was only two.

“Having friends around us on this day is really heartwarming.”

On Sept. 21, 2001, the Mets game at Shea Stadium marked the city’s first professional sports event after the terror attacks 10 days prior.

Mike Piazza’s legendary game-winning home run is credited with helping a city in mourning start to heal.

READ MORE: COVID Vaccine Mandate For New York City Teachers To Take Effect After Federal Appeals Court Lifts Temporary Ban

“We were walking around in this nightmare state, what’s gonna happen wrong and when is it gonna happen and is it gonna happen to me next time and all of a sudden at the crack of a bat the frowns are turned upside down… It was a special event,” former Mets manager Bobby Valentine said.

Almost 18 years later, homemade signs in the stands read “we will never forget.”

Singing the national anthem Wednesday, the Police Athletic League’s Cops and Kids Chorus – founded by Brooklyn-born actor Tony Danza.

“I think it’s important we try to send a message of unity especially with youth and the police force,” Danza said.

Throwing out the first pitch, the nephew and the son of late NYPD Det. Lou Alvarez – remembered for his role in getting funding restored to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund this summer.

“I think sport allowed many men and women in uniform to be recognized properly,” Valentine said.

“When they’re here and sticking out their chest they should be because the work they did then and the work they do now is irreplaceable in a society like ours.”

Earlier in the day the Mets also visited a firehouse in Manhattan, which has become an annual tradition for the team – especially on 9/11.

MORE NEWS: R. Kelly Found Guilty Of All Counts In Sex Trafficking, Racketeering Trial

The met would win the game against the Diamondbacks Wednesday night — and in an amazing coincidence — New York scored 9 runs on 11 hits.