ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Next year's game between service-academy rivals Air Force and Navy has been moved to Sept. 11 in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the academies announced Tuesday.

The game was originally scheduled for Oct. 2.

“We will use this nationally televised opportunity to reflect on the meaning of our freedom and the competitive spirit of our nation,” Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said in a statement. “Two service academies coming together to display our strength of unity and our determination to forever persevere.”

Air Force athletic director Nathan Pine called it “an appropriate move for our country."

“The game will be a fitting way to showcase the amazing future leaders of character from both academies on national television on this solemn anniversary," Pine said.

It will mark just the third time the two schools have played in September and the earliest they have ever met. They normally meet the first Saturday in October.


More AP college football: