The Berlin boys and girls cross country teams are a pretty close group.
A recent trip to New York City may have brought the team even closer together as the teams toured Central Park, Rockefeller Center, 42nd Street, Times Square, the Financial District, Battery Park and finally the 9/11 Memorial.
Coach Steve Soucy had applied to be able to see the 9/11 memorial before but was turned down. A couple of weeks ago, however, he got a call and the team was allowed to go.
"We took 22 kids down. Mostly the varsity teams, and we stayed over in New York City," Soucy said. "For most of them it was the first time they had ever been to the city.
"The kids were extremely respectful at the memorial and felt very fortunate to be able to experience it. The memorial itself is very powerful in it's design and is a reminder of the tremendous loss and destruction. Even though the kids were very young when the events happened, I think being there and seeing not only the memorial itself but also the scale of devastation was very awakening for some of them.
"The memorial is just massive, so it showed them how big the buildings actually were. I think they said it was something like 16 acres. There was no joy there. It's not a celebration of life like other monuments. It is a sad place. To see all the names of the people who died is very sad. The kids were silent. They didn't talk the entire time and that is highly unusual for this group of kids. Even on the way home they didn't say much. The next day we had a team dinner and they started to talk about it.
The teams are back in action Thursday at the CCC Championships at Wickham Park in Manchester.