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BOSTON (CBS) – Nearly 100,000 Americans serving in the military have gone unaccounted for since World War I.

Starting Friday, the New England Patriots and New England Revolution will permanently honor those soldiers at Gillette Stadium.

There is now black seat above the Gillette’s south end zone that will remain permanently unoccupied in recognition of those who have not returned home from serving their country. The seat is marked by a plaque recognizing the sacrifice of those soldiers.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports: 

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft was assisted with the dedication by the Massachusetts chapter of The Rolling Thunder, a national nonprofit that focuses on supporting veterans and retrieving POWs.

About 50 members of the group entered Gillette on their motorcycles, helping the Patriots and Revs become the first major professional teams to leave a seat permanently unoccupied in recognition of military members who are Prisoners Of War or Missing In Action.

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kraft with seat Patriots To Leave Stadium Seat Permanently Empty To Honor POW MIAs

Patriots owner Robert Kraft with the black seat at Gillette Stadium that will remain permanently unoccupied in recognition of the many soldiers who are POW/MIA. (Photo credit New England Patriots facebook page)

The Patriots will also hold pregame ceremonies prior to Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills in honor of Veteran’s Day. Veterans and active duty soldiers from each branch of the military and Coast Guard will join members of the Kraft family, Patriots alumni and Patriots cheerleaders to display a large American flag that will spread the entire length of the field. There will also be a flyover, a Color Guard ceremony performed by the Army National Guard and national anthem sung by the 215th Army Band’s Voices of Freedom.

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Tune in to the Patriots-Bills game Sunday afternoon at 1pm on WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 10am on 98.5 with Patriots Preview, and 11:30am on WBZ-TV with Patriots GameDay. Following the game, stay tuned for three hours of postgame coverage on the Hub, and to Patriots 5th Quarter on WBZ-TV.


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