Foxborough, Mass. - Before the nation pauses to remember the service of veterans everywhere on Tuesday, November 11, the New England Patriots will honor America's soldiers past and present with a salute to the military before Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills. The Kraft family has selected two war veterans, Pfc. Sean Bannon from Winthrop, Mass. and Sgt. James Hackemer from Gowanda, N.Y., to serve as honorary captains for the game. Both soldiers were critically injured while serving their country in Iraq and continue to receive treatment at Spaulding Rehabilitation in Boston. The soldiers will be introduced to nearly 70,000 Patriots fans prior to the game and will join the Patriots and Buffalo Bills team captains at midfield for the opening coin toss.
In addition, the Patriots will honor one of their long-time employees, George Boyajian, who is 85-years young. Boyajian is a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War and has been a fixture with the Patriots in Foxborough for the last 22 years. The Patriots will also recognize his service during pregame ceremonies on the field just prior to the presentation of the color guards and national anthem.
Keeping with a Patriotic, military-themed pregame, the color guards for the national anthem will be presented by representatives of four different branches of the U.S. armed forces. Michelle Harris, vocalist of the U.S. Air Force Band of Liberty, will sing the national anthem which will be replete with a flyover by a few Black Hawk helicopters.
The Patriots have also partnered with Raytheon to host 60 additional service men and women from the Massachusetts Army National Guard.