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SBD/May 3, 2011/Sports in Society
Nationals Host Military Appreciation Night As Teams Respond To Bin Laden Death
Published May 3, 2011
PAYING TRIBUTE: In San Diego, Bill Center notes the Padres last night wore their camouflage jerseys, usually reserved for Sunday games, and offered "free admission for the Padres-Pirates game to all active and retired military personnel in the area." Last night's salute "began with the players, who began calling the club’s office early in the morning requesting" that the camouflage jerseys be worn. Shortly after the "decision was made to wear the camouflage jerseys Monday night as a tribute, the Padres decided to offer free tickets to all active and retired military with valid identification cards as well as those retired military members holding Padres Military Appreciation cards." Before the start of last night's game, the Padres "paid tribute to servicemen." The ceremonies included a "moment of silence for all those who had given their life in defense of the country" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/3). Meanwhile, the Red Sox last night before their game against the Angels "unfurled a US flag the length of the wall in left field" at Fenway Park. There were 18 servicemen and women "on the warning track and the Brockton High band played the National
PERFECT PITCH: In Philadelphia, Sam Carchidi notes prior to last night's Bruins-Flyers game, Lauren Hart sang a duet with a video recording of Kate Smith for "God Bless America." The fans at Wells Fargo Center "stood and sang and got teary-eyed before breaking into 'U-S-A' chants." During a "stoppage early in the first period, scenes of heroic efforts after 9/11 were shown on the video board." Members of the armed forces, "and Philadelphia firemen and police officers were introduced to the crowd, giving it the feel of a pep rally" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/3). In Miami, Greg Cote notes Heat games "always bear a patriotic flavor," but the preamble to tonight's game against the Celtics "will go beyond that in the wake of bin Laden's death." Members of the military "will unfurl 50 American flags on the court and fans will be invited" to sing the National Anthem (MIAMI HERALD, 5/3).
PAY IT FORWARD: The Mets are planning to give away 4,000 tickets to tonight's game against the Giants at Citi Field to "members of the armed services and their families." In addition, a Marine corps sergeant will sing “God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch (NYTIMES.com, 5/2). MLB.com's Anthony DiComo noted the donation complements the Mets' "season-long policy of providing a free ticket to any active service member who presents a valid military I.D. at the Citi Field ticket office" (MLB.com, 5/2). Meanwhile, the Dodgers announced last night they will offer free tickets at Dodger Stadium to all military members throughout May. All members of the joint services with a valid military ID, including active, reserve and retired veterans as well as their dependents, can get two free tickets to any Dodgers game this month, based on availability (Dodgers).