Kings honor fallen scouts at 9/11 memorial
One of the nicest traditions of the Stanley Cup is that players, coaches and other members of the winning organization get to spend a day with the trophy.
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Kings made sure that two former scouts got their turn.
The Kings arranged to fly the Cup to the 9/11 memorial in New York City so it could be placed next to the engraved names of Garnet “Ace” Bailey and Mark Bavis, who were on United Airlines Flight 175 when it was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
"It was an incredibly thoughtful thing that the L.A. Kings management did," Katherine Bailey, widow of Ace Bailey said. "It was a wonderful tribute to Ace and Mark and both of our families appreciate the logistics that went into getting everyone and the Cup all together at the Memorial.
"We are grateful to Dean Lombardi for organizing this unique tribute. On 9/11, the Kings told both of our families that they would never forget and they certainly haven't."
Kathy Bavis Sylvester, sister of Mark Bavis, added, "I cannot begin to express how truly special our visit to the 9/11 memorial was...a day I will cherish and hold close to my heart. A huge thank you to the LA Kings organization for sharing the Stanley Cup with us and remembering Ace and Mark in such a significant way. Although my mother, brothers and sisters could not be there, also know how much it meant to them.
"Since that tragic day, all 9/11 families live with this void that will be there forever. The LA Kings have once again helped both our families close that void a bit and created another special memory from the hockey world."
Bailey and Bavis, who were on their way to Kings training camp when the crash occurred, already had been unofficially honored after the team’s Stanley Cup victory in June. Fans put team caps and other memorabilia near their names at the memorial in tribute to their contributions to the team.
The families of both scouts were at the memorial on Sunday along with Kings general manager Dean Lombardi and members of the Kings organization.
"It was a very emotional day for all," said Mike O'Connell, who works with the Kings in pro development and on special assignments. "This beautiful gesture by the current Kings organization enabling the families of our fallen scouts to know their loved ones, who perished in 9/11, helped set the table for our Stanley Cup victory."