[mlbvideo id=”21784071″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]
By Jon Weisman
Memorial Day comes to Dodger Stadium today and yes, there is a fun giveaway and a great pitching matchup. But the true purpose of the day is also being remembered through several activities and events.
- MLB and the Dodgers will join the National Moment of Remembrance, an initiative the league has supported since 1997, when all games will pause for a moment of silence.
- The Dodgers will wear specially-designed caps and jerseys featuring an authentic military digital camouflage design licensed from the United States Marine Corps in honor of Memorial Day. (MLB and MLB Advanced Media will donate 100% of its net proceeds from sales of the caps and jerseys to Welcome Back Veterans, an initiative that provides grants to university hospitals throughout the country – including UCLA – that provide post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury treatment to veterans and their families in a public/private partnership as part of its contribution to the program.)
- Pregame ceremonies will include a flag unveiling in center field along with six stars representing each U.S. military branch: Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard as well as Prisoners of War (POW).
- Wives of service members who died in service of our nation will officially begin the game with “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” and children of these families will be amongst the children who partake in Kids Take the Field Monday.
- Roy Gleason, showcased in the video above, will throw the first pitch on Memorial Day. Gleason played in eight games for the Dodgers in 1963 with one official at-bat before being drafted by the military. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and was awarded a Purple Heart.
- The national anthem and “God Bless America” will be performed by U.S. Coast Guard MK2 Mike Dalager. The U.S. Army will provide the color guard. A DJ will provide entertainment prior to the game in the right-field pavilion plaza.
- The Veteran of the Game presented by Bank of America is U.S. Navy Quarterman (QM1) Luis Villegas. Villegas enlisted in 2004 and currently serves onboard the USS Essex. His deployments have been in support for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and his accolades include four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
- Fans can support the troops by uploading photos from the game Monday or write a message in support of the military using the hashtag #TroopThanks on social media including Twitter. For each mention, Bank of America will make a donation to military nonprofits dedicated to helping our troops succeed at home.