BOSTON (WGGB) — In their first game at Fenway since the bombings, and under heavy security, The Red Sox paid tribute to the city they call home, those injured and lost, and those who help protect Beantown.
A video montage, compiled of still images covering the events of the last week and set to a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” was shown on the Diamond Vision display over the bleachers in center field.
One of the biggest rounds of applause came as the team acknowledged “the best of Boston” that came out of the events of this past week:
“Volunteers rushing into the smoke, marathoners running even further to hospitals to give blood, doctors and nurses showing why they are the best in the entire world, and our law enforcement officers, pursuing every lead, scouring every tape, and working relentlessly, fiercely, and triumphantly to seek, find, and bring those responsible to justice.”
A moment of silence was then held to remember the three people who died Monday, and those injured in the blast, especially those 58 people that remain hospitalized.
Recognized for their leadership this week, with rousing applause, were Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, Watertown Police Chief Ed Deveau, MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul McMillan, and FBI Special Agent in Charge of Boston Richard DesLauriers, along with police officers and investigators from across the area.
The over 30,000 in attendance then joined Fenway organist Josh Kantor in singing the Star Spangled Banner “to continue a new Boston tradition born at the Garden three days ago.”
The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Steven Byrne, one of the 176 injured in the blasts, longtime marathon participants Rick and Dick Hoyt of Holland, and Matt Patterson.
The ceremony concluded with Red Sox DH David Ortiz, who returns to Fenway after being on the disabled list, taking the microphone near home plate, and telling the fans “This is our [expletive] city and nobody gonna dictate our freedom. Stay strong.”
For Saturday’s game, the Red Sox are wearing red and white uniforms with “Boston” across the chest, rather the standard home “Red Sox” jersey. Both the Sox and their opponents, the Kansas City Royals, are also wearing “B Strong” patches in support of the city and its recovery.