ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - It's a commercial that only aired once.
In August of 2001, one would assume that the marketing team of a big corporation like Anheuser-Busch Co already had the concept and quite possibly already started production on their 2002 Super Bowl commercial. In September of 2001, like the rest of America, those plans changed as the climate of our nation was abruptly shaken.
Breaking news that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers hit the airwaves. It seemed as though this was an accident. Then the second plane was caught on camera hitting the second tower. It was all but confirmed that America was under attack. Time goes by and a plane hits the Pentagon and another crashes in Pennsylvania.
For the first time in history, all flights in the United States were grounded. With time ticking by, the uncertainty of future attacks loomed in the hearts and minds of the American people. In all, 2,977 people were killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
The events of that day changed us as a nation.
The aftermath and clean up of 9/11 carried on into the following year. Security tightened and with the biggest event to happen after 9/11 approached, many wondered how the Super Bowl would be affected. In fact, the 2001 NFL season was postponed by a week resulting in a change in the Super Bowl date, making it the first ever Super Bowl to take place in February.
On February 3, 2002, the St. Louis Rams took the field against the New England Patriots in the first ever Super Bowl to be classified by the Department of Homeland Security as a national Special Security Event.
As people gathered with family and friends to take in an American tradition, they anticipated laughter during the commercials. Budweiser, however, had a moving, heartfelt treat in store for the world.
The famous Budweiser Clydesdales were readied and began a journey on a road graced with a background of snowy fields and mountains. Making their way across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and at this point it was clear to all watching that this was not a normal marketing ploy. As they arrived on a snowy open plain with the skyline of New York City in the background, WTC missing, they did something that still sends chills to some who were changed that day. The Clydesdales stopped and kneeled as if bowing to the citizens of New York City and the American people.
This was a clear sign of just how much our country was affected by these attacks. Budweiser ran other commercials, but took time, energy and finances to express exactly how every American felt at that point in time. On September 11, 2001, and months following, all Americans were New Yorkers.