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Home opener will bring range of emotions

Besides getting World Series rings, Sox to honor firefighters who died last week

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Home opener will bring range of emotions play video for Home opener will bring range of emotions

BALTIMORE -- When the Red Sox return to Fenway Park today for the first time since last year's World Series parade, there should be a flood of emotions for those in uniform and in the stands.

The festivities are expected to begin at 1 p.m. ET, roughly an hour before the first pitch against the Brewers. Fans who aren't at the game can watch the ceremony live on mlb.com and redsox.com.

There is a lot to celebrate, to be sure, as the players from the 2013 squad will collect their rings.

"I'm pretty sure it's going to be emotional," said first baseman Mike Napoli. "Boston knows how to put on a good ceremony. I've seen it before. I imagine the atmosphere is going to be amazing and the fans are going to be going nuts. It's going to be a fun day. I'm looking forward to it."

But there will also be a time to mourn in the form of a moment of silence in tribute to Lt. Edward J. Walsh and firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, who died last week when a nine-alarm fire raged through a Back Bay home. The firefighters worked at the Boylston Street station, which is right down the street from Fenway.

The singing of God Bless America in the middle of the seventh inning will be performed by the Boston Fire Department Quartet.

"I would think there's probably a mix of emotions that will be generated probably between what that videoboard shows," said manager John Farrell. "There's going to be tragedy, there'll be triumph. In the end, it will be a great day to look back on a very, very special year."

The Dropkick Murphys, along with Keith Lockhart conducting members of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, will perform during the ceremonies. Members of the Hanscom Air Force Base military will line the length of the Green Monster wall as the American flag drops for the anthem.

There will also be a flyover, as the United States Coast Guard will fly a single MH-60T helicopter, representing all of our armed forces, at the conclusion of the national anthem.

The Red Sox will wear gold-trimmed jerseys with gold stitching around the World Series championship patch on the left sleeve.

"We're all looking forward to Opening Day at home, especially the way the year went," said designated hitter David Ortiz. "It's going to be an unbelievable ceremony, and we're all looking forward to it."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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