Rays plan events to commemorate Sept. 11

Rays plan events to commemorate Sept. 11

ARLINGTON -- The Rays will mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks when they host the Red Sox on Sept. 11 at Tropicana Field.

"The Rays will join communities across America in commemorating the 10th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001," said president Matt Silverman in a statement issued by the team. "We will gather together to remember those who lost their lives and to honor the first responders and other heroes for their actions that solemn day."

The schedule includes displays in and around Tropicana Field, on-field ceremonies, a video tribute to the victims and recognition of the Tampa Bay area's first responders.

The first 30,000 fans will receive a miniature American flag, and the first 10,000 kids 14 and under will receive a Rays Fire Helmet presented by Chili's.

The displays include a steel beam from the rubble of the World Trade Center, a large American flag suspended over the Rotunda entrance at Gate 1, a wall where fans can write messages to first responders and victims, and the University of South Florida robotics machine that was used in the recovery and search after the attacks. A commemorative "9.11.01" will be carved on the back of the pitcher's mound, and a remembrance logo will be visible throughout the ballpark.

Eighteen local fire chiefs, police chiefs and military personnel will throw out ceremonial first pitches, as will Captain Mark Bogush from Tampa Fire Rescue. Bogush and his search and rescue K9 Marley were dispatched to the World Trade Center days after the attacks.

The national anthem will be performed by Hillsborough County Sheriff Belinda Denbigh, who will also sing "God Bless America" in the seventh inning.

At all Major League parks on that day, a video will be shown, and all players will wear caps and jerseys featuring an American flag patch.