News: Mets host Military Appreciation Day at Citi Field
NEW YORK - The New York Mets and the USO hosted the fifth annual Military Appreciation Day on Memorial Day May 28 at Citi Field as part of Fleet Week New York 2012.
Held nearly every year since 1984, Fleet Week New York is the city's celebration of the sea services.
Fleet Week New York provides an opportunity for the citizens of New York City and the surrounding tri-state area to meet sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as see, first-hand, the latest capabilities of today's maritime services.
Adm. Tim Alexander, commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, who threw the first pitch.
"Today we're at Citi Field and they're throwing a big party for us for Military Appreciation Day here with the Mets," said Alexander.
The game opened with a performance by the USO Liberty Bells, followed by the national anthem performed by the U.S. Navy Band Northeast.
The Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 15 from Naval Air Station Oceana, homported in Virginia, flew over the field at the end of the Star-Spangled Banner. Several service members and Delayed Entry Program members also recited the Oath of Enlistment before the start of the game.
At the end of the third inning the Mets welcomed veterans by recognizing the veteran of the game.
"Thank you to New York for having us, and thank you to the Mets for giving us awesome seats and letting us meet all the players in the dugout," said Marine Cpl. Ronald Smith of 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, Bravo Company, who was the veteran of the game. "We're getting treated like celebrities and it doesn't happen very often, so it's been great."
More than 6,000 service men and women arrived aboard the ships for Fleet Week New York. This year, Fleet Week New York is one of the signature events around the country commemorating OpSail 2012, the bicentennial of the War of 1812 an the Star-Spangled Banner. The commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 is a salute to all sailors and Marines who fought gallantly in that conflict, who served in all our nation's conflicts since then, and who are defending freedom around the world today.
For more information visit the official fleet Week New York City web site at www.fleetweeknewyork.com or find "Fleet Week New York" on Facebook.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.