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Astros plan free Veterans Day celebration at ballpark

Club set to host guest speakers, screen 'Honor Flight' on video board in outfield

HOUSTON -- The Astros will celebrate Veterans Day on Monday by hosting a free event at Minute Maid Park that will include entertainment, a ceremony honoring veterans and a screening of the award-winning documentary "Honor Flight: One Last Mission" on the video board.

The event honors our nation's military and veterans, especially those who served in World War II, and is hosted by the Astros and Texas Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

"This is a community where there is perhaps the largest or second-largest community of veterans in the United States, and we decided that we'd show the film and invite the public, and it sort of grew from there," said Astros senior vice president for community relations Meg Vaillancourt.

The Astros Salute to Veterans, which is free to the public, begins at 11 a.m. CT and will feature musical performances by Gary Morris and Tracy Byrd at noon, a live demonstration by the Re/Max Sky Diving Team of Texas and the Honor Your Veteran photo display on the video board (fans can submit photos of veterans of any era by emailing them to

The highlight of the afternoon will be the 2 p.m. screening of "Honor Flight: One Last Mission," a documentary about living World War II veterans and a community coming together by flying them to Washington, D.C., to see the war's memorial.

The event is scheduled to end at 4:30 p.m. at the film's conclusion.

Among the guest speakers are U.S. Senator John Cornyn, Major General John F. Nichols, who is the Adjutant General of Texas, and veteran George McDowell, who was part of the 1942 invasion of French Morocco under the command of General George S. Patton.

Prior to the Astros Salute to Veterans presented by Occidental Petroleum, Sujiro Seam, the Consul General of France, will honor seven United States World War II veterans with the medal of Chevalier in the French Order of the Legion of Honor in the Union Station lobby of Minute Maid Park.

Since its creation by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the National Order of the Legion of Honor has remained the highest, most prestigious decoration in France. This order is awarded solely as a recognition of merit or bravery, open to men and women of all ranks and professions.

Tickets to the Astros Salute to Veterans are available for free and may be picked up at Minute Maid Park in the Union Station lobby on Crawford Street, Monday through Friday during regular business hours, as well as at the gates on the day of the event. For ticket questions, please call 713-259-8319.

Handicapped parking will be available as well as free parking for the general public in Astros-controlled lots A, B and C on a first-come, first-served basis. For active-duty military who wish to sit together as a group only, please contact

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

Houston Astros