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Medal of Honor recipients recognized at ASG

MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Twenty-nine recipients of the prestigious U.S. Medal of Honor lined the first- and third- base lines at Nationals Park on Tuesday night. Along the outfield wall stood three separate groups from coalition of choirs from the D.C. area, each donning a different color of the American flag.

WASHINGTON -- Twenty-nine recipients of the prestigious U.S. Medal of Honor lined the first- and third- base lines at Nationals Park on Tuesday night. Along the outfield wall stood three separate groups from coalition of choirs from the D.C. area, each donning a different color of the American flag.

Video: 2018 ASG: Players meet Medal of Honor recipients

Moments later, both groups met toward center field. The former represented one of the largest gatherings of Medal of Honor recipients in history. The latter -- intertwining with one another to form an American flag in center field -- represented the unrivaled celebration of the nation's capital for the military in a demonstration less than four miles away from the Pentagon.

The 29 Medal of Honor recipients, part of a wide-spread military appreciation campaign around All-Star Week, earned the loudest of cheers Tuesday, even with the introduction of the biggest stars in baseball coming just moments earlier. But each player received an honor of their own, trotting out to the middle of the diamond to greet and thank each recipient in attendance.

Video: 2018 ASG: McCloughan tosses the first pitch

They were greeted with an uproar and sent off with a five-jet flyover. After the Canadian national anthem was performed by members of the Royal Canadian Air Force Band, the choir made up of various D.C.-based song groups, gathered for a rendition of the anthem unique to the nation's capital.

"You don't win a Medal of Honor," movie star Bradley Cooper narrated in a montage played during the ceremony. "They are earned by the greatest of heroes."

The names of all 29 recipients were read aloud over the Nationals Park speakers, met by a gratified hand wave from all. One hand stood out -- the bionic hand of Leroy Petry, who had his hand amputated after absorbing an explosion during his service in Afghanistan.

The 43,000-plus fans in attendance responded with gracious applause after the final recipient was announced.

Zachary Silver is a reporter for MLB.com.