For shortstop Mike Aviles, his grandfather and a couple of friends came to mind.
"It's one of those things where you want to thank every single one of them, because you know they're giving their lives to protect our country," Aviles said. "I know, personally, I couldn't do it. You know what? They have my utmost respect and support. They are unbelievable people."
Manager Bobby Valentine comes from a military background. His father served in World War II, though he did return from battle.
"My only thought of Memorial Day is to give thanks to everyone who gave the ultimate sacrifice, but also gave their time -- years of their life to give the freedom we have here," Valentine said. "I thank them every day for it."
Catcher Kelly Shoppach expressed his feelings on Twitter.
"Thank you to all the men and women who gave their lives and still defend our country so I can safely sleep at night. I love the USA," he wrote.
In honor of those who died in military service, there was a moment of silence before Monday afternoon's series opener between the Red Sox and Tigers. With the Green Monster covered by a giant American flag, the US Coast Guard Brass Quintet played the national anthem.
Red Sox great Johnny Pesky, who missed three seasons to serve in World War II, was also honored at Fenway Park on Sunday.
Between innings, the video board in center field featured messages from several Red Sox players thanking active duty military and veterans.
Both the Tigers and Red Sox sported hats with a camouflage pattern etched into the team logo. It's the latest edition of MLB's Stars & Stripes caps, worn by all 30 teams on Memorial Day and Independence Day each year. Net proceeds from the sale of these special caps are donated to Welcome Back Veterans, a program that addresses the needs of returning American veterans and their families.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.