Pedro Beato was in the bullpen late Sunday night and he heard the chanting of "USA, USA" coming from the stands at Citizens Bank Park. He didn't know why at first, but when the word got through to him it brought him back to a decade earlier.
Beato was a freshman at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn on Sept. 11, 2001, when the student body was herded into the auditorium, told about the World Trade Center disaster and asked to call their families.
He sneaked through a classroom, onto a balcony and wanted a firsthand view for himself. He looked toward lower Manhattan from the Brooklyn school, and if buildings were in the way, he remembered the smoke.
"I just saw smoke," Beato recalled. "I couldn't see the building, but I saw the smoke. It was very noticeable. I really didn't know what was going on. They were talking about it and the whole school got called into the auditorium.
"For me it was just a regular routine thing, going to the auditorium to talk to about programs or something, something going on with school. But once they started explaining what was going on, they said call your parents, I knew it was something serious.
"Me and a friend of mine just sneaked out to the top of the school, through one of the classrooms we went to a balcony that was there and saw the smoke from the building."
It's not the sort of day you forget, not 10 years later, and not even when you were only a kid at the time. And Beato wasn't going to forget this night either.
Bullpen coach John Debus got the word from other coaches who had slipped into the clubhouse and heard the news, Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the attacks of Sept. 11, had been killed by U.S. troops.
"I was hearing the chants," Beato said. "I didn't know what was going on. D-bo was the one who told me what it was. I was like, 'Oh, about time.'
"Not that somebody got killed, but someone like Bin Laden got killed, sort of Mission Accomplished. That's what our troops, our people, are out there for. We finally we got him and did what we had to do. I'm just very glad that they got it over. Hopefully this war is over and everybody can come back and be safe with their family."
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