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Red Sox recognize veterans, Gehrig's speech

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BOSTON -- It may not have been Independence Day, but the Red Sox still did their part to honor local and active military members for their service.

Prior to the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, scheduled because of a rainout on Friday, the club draped its giant American flag over the Green Monster during the national anthem and honored Colonel Lester Weilacher. The Commander of the 66th Air Base Group in Hanscom, Mass., threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

The Orioles and Red Sox both wore special red caps and Boston wore its alternate, red home uniforms.

The Red Sox also commemorated the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's historic speech, recognizing patients battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, which killed the legendary Yankees first baseman. He gave that speech on July 4, 1939.

Members of the ALS Association, ALS Therapy Development Institute, and Muscular Dystrophy Association were all recognized on the field prior to the game, as well. Among them were United State military veterans Jerry Ash and Dennis McAvoy, plus Scott Murphy, an Army vet who has been living with ALS for the last decade.

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

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