During Saturday's ceremony, the Boston Police Gaelic Column will play Highland Cathedral on the bagpipes as the Veterans enter the field. The bugle call 'Last Post' will be performed by the Boston Crusaders, followed by a performance of 'Echo Taps.' With Hanscom Air Force Base presenting the colors, the national anthem will be performed by the Voices of Freedom and punctuated by a flyover of four F-15 jets flown from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, MA.
Expected to take part in the ceremony alongside the hundreds of Vietnam Veterans are Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, U.S. Army Major General Paul LaCamera, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Retired U.S. Army General Eric Ken Shinseki, former U.S. Army Chief of Staff and retired U.S Army General George William Casey Jr., Retired Army Lieutenant General Joseph E. DeFrancisco, Wounded Warriors Project CEO and Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael S. Linnington, and many more military and civilian leaders.
Saturday's pregame ceremony is the culmination of a day-long "welcome home" to Vietnam Veterans at Fenway Park, which will commence at Home Base's original and largest fundraiser, the 8th Annual Run to Home Base 9K / 5K charity race presented by New Balance, and benefiting Home Base's clinical care and support services to veterans, service members, and families healing from the invisible wounds, such as post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. The charity race begins at 8 a.m. on Yawkey Way and features a photo finish at home plate inside the ballpark.
In addition to the ceremony, starting today, Friday, July 14, the Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C., will be on display at Fenway Park on Van Ness Street outside of Gate B. The Moving Wall will be formally unveiled today at 3 p.m.
After the ceremony, fans attending the game will be given cards that say "I Salute" to display during the middle of the 3rd inning with the name of a loved one, friend, or acquaintance who is a veteran or currently serving in the armed forces. The "I Salute" cards are made possible with the support of BAE and FedEx.
Fenway Park gates open at 2:35 on Saturday for the 4:05 p.m. game. Fans are asked to be in their seats by 3:30 p.m. to enjoy the ceremony, which will be broadcast live by NESN.
More than 2.6 million men and women served in Vietnam from 1965 to 1973. The conflict resulted in nearly 60 thousand American casualties. Many of those who did survive returned home with injuries both visible and unseen, and often to an unfriendly welcome, further deepening their wounds. The July 15th celebrations at Fenway Park will provide a richly deserved "welcome home" to hundreds of Vietnam Veterans, honoring their service and sacrifice.
About Home Base
Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program, is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds for Post-9/11 Veterans, Service Members and their Families through world-class clinical care, wellness, education and research. As a National Center of Excellence, Home Base operates the first and largest private-sector clinic in the nation devoted to healing invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, co-occurring substance use disorder, military sexual trauma, family relationship challenges and other issues associated with military service. Since inception, Home Base has served more than 11,000 Veterans and family members with care and support, trained more than 45,000 clinicians, educators and community members nationally and remains at the forefront of discovering new treatments-- ensuring a brighter future for the 21st century warrior and military family. For more information please visit www.homebase.org.
About the Red Sox Foundation
The official team charity of the Boston Red Sox, the Red Sox Foundation has distributed over $96 million to support programs serving children and families across New England. The Foundation's efforts are primarily focused on five cornerstone programs: the Red Sox Scholars Program, which provides tutoring, mentoring, enrichment programs and a college scholarship to academically talented but economically disadvantaged Boston public school students; the Red Sox Foundation's RBI and Rookie League youth baseball and softball programs serving more than 2,000 inner city teens each summer; the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat stress and traumatic brain injury; The Dimock Center in Roxbury, serving more than 80,000 low-income families in Boston's most disadvantaged neighborhoods; and The Jimmy Fund, supporting breakthrough cancer researchat the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Red Sox Foundation raises funds through special events, corporate sponsorships, and grants. Founded and initially funded by Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, President/CEO Emeritus Larry Lucchino and their partners, the Red Sox Foundation has won numerous awards for the impact of its innovative programs. In 2010, the Foundation's Red Sox Scholars program was recognized by Major League Baseball with the first-ever "MLB Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence." In 2009, the Red Sox Foundation was honored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Sports Philanthropy Project with the Patterson Award as the nation's "Best Team Charity in Sports." For more information about the foundation, visit redsoxfoundation.org.