There will be an immense gala in Dome Torrent’s hometown of Santa Coloma de Farners in Catalonia, Spain today – September 11.
It is the national holiday of Catalonia or “La Diada,” which commemorates the loss of Catalonia’s laws and institutions after the Siege of Barcelona in 1714.
The day-long festival is a symbol of national identity and heritage for a region that is still seeking independence from Spain.
“It’s the most important day in Catalonia – my country,” Torrent, the head coach of New York City FC, said. “We celebrate.”
On Sept. 11, 2001, those revelries came to an abrupt end when terrorists invaded New York City.
“I remember exactly this terrible day,” said Torrent, who was coaching a third division side, Futbal Club Palafrugell. “I remember we finished playing in Barcelona. I remember exactly what happened hearing on the radio what the news said in Manhattan, and I thought it was an accident.”
When Torrent rejoined his family in their quaint village of less than 10,000 people, their focus was no longer on the carnival, but the tragedy that had unfolded in the United States.
“I remember I spent 24 hours with my family in front of the TV because it was terrible,” Torrent said. “I live in a small town and there were people in the streets crying.
“It was terrible, not just for Manhattan or for New York or for the United States – it was a terrible day for everybody, for the world.”
Torrent and NYCFC players visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum of their match tonight against Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium.
The club produced this tribute to those affected by the tragedy 18 years ago.
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) September 9, 2019