FOXBORO (CBS)- With the New England Patriots on the road to open the regular season, the team commemorated the 10-year anniversary of September 11 with a pregame ceremony before their preseason finale against the New York Giants on Thursday.
Former Patriot guard Joe Andruzzi, his three New York City firefighter brothers and his father, a former New York City police officer, served as honorary game captains and participate in the coin toss. The four Andruzzi boys and their father were first recognized on the field on Sept. 23, 2001, just 12 days after the events of 9/11.
Members of all five branches of the military also participated in the pregame ceremonies, as well as local police, state police and local firefighters. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard presented five separate color guards for the national anthem while dozens of police officers and firefighters line the field from end zone to end zone.
In all, nearly 200 armed service members, police and firefighters took part in the ceremonies Thursday night.
The NFL will salute “the American spirit” during its games on the first full day of the season, Sunday September 11, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Pregame tributes will be synchronized on CBS and Fox telecasts and shown on video boards in each stadium hosting games.
Coaches, players and local first responders will hold field-length American flags during the playing of the national anthem.
The Patriots open their regular season Monday night, September 12 in Miami.