FOXBORO (CBS) – The Patriots honored first responders at their annual draft party and made a big announcement about their donation to the One Fund.
“There are some other heroes that we want to recognize tonight,” said Patriots owner Robert Kraft at the beginning of the party.
Then 25 members of the Boston Police Department made their way to the stage. On a night to celebrate football heroes the crowd gave a standing ovation for the heroes of the Marathon bombings.
“Ordinarily I would say that Bob Kraft and the coach have the best team in the country. But I have to tell you Mr. Kraft, I’m privileged to be involved with the best team in the country,” said Superintendent In Chief Daniel Linsky.
The officers were honored with jerseys emblazoned with the number one and “Boston” on the back, the same way a first round pick would be.
It was a moment of pride for men and women who’ve spent a week and a half immersed in tragedy. Officer Peter Cazeau spent a week combing through evidence. He said it felt good to be recognized.
“I think I’ll go find a frame for it. Definitely frame it. This is not going to be a jersey that I wear, I’m going to hold it for more sentimental value,” he said as he held up his jersey.
Kraft also announced a major contribution to the victims. Last week, the Kraft family pledged to match up to $100,000 in donations to the One Fund. Because of the huge amount of support and money raised, he upped that pledge to $617,000.
“617 there isn’t a better area code in the country and thank all of you for helping that happen,” he said as the audience cheered.
The moment was another step in the healing for the community, for the victims and for the men and women in blue who ran toward the bombs as others ran away.
“These men and women may not have actual shrapnel embedded in them but their souls their hearts have been ripped apart by this,” said Linsky. “It’s a symbol to our cops of the community support and it’ll help them heal.”