MLB to join nation in Memorial Day remembrances
Teams to observe moments of silence over holiday weekend to honor fallen veterans
The long Memorial Day weekend will be a time for many to get away to a beach or a camp, to open a pool or a summer cottage, to barbecue with friends and family.
Of course, it also will be a time to watch baseball and to remember.
Major League Baseball will hold moments of silence prior to all games throughout this Memorial Day weekend to honor those who have died in service to their nation. On Monday, MLB will join the National Moment of Remembrance, an initiative the league has supported since 1997, where all 15 games will be paused for a moment of silence around 3 p.m. local time.
U.S.-based clubs will wear specially designed caps and jerseys featuring an authentic military digital camouflage design licensed from the U.S. Marine Corps in honor of Memorial Day. The Toronto Blue Jays will wear a camouflage design based on the Canadian Disruptive Pattern ("CADPAT") used by Canadian Forces.
The Memorial Day effort is part of MLB's ongoing recognition of veterans, active military and military families. MLB has committed more than $30 million to Welcome Back Veterans since its inception in 2008, helping to raise year-round awareness of the challenges faced by returning military.
MLB and MLB Advanced Media will donate 100 percent of net proceeds from sales of the U.S.-based clubs' caps and jerseys to Welcome Back Veterans as part of its contribution to the program. MLB and MLBAM also will donate 100 percent of its net proceeds from sales of Toronto jerseys and caps to the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services' "Support Our Troops Fund."
Welcome Back Veterans, an initiative of MLB Charities and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, provides grants to university hospitals throughout the country that provide post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment to veterans and their families in a public/private partnership.
"Welcome Back Veterans' partnership with Major League Baseball's has been fantastic," Donald Cooke, senior vice president of philanthropy for the McCormick Foundation, told MLB.com during Game 1 of the last World Series in Boston, where veterans and military families were honored at Fenway Park. "I think we're getting a lot of good stuff done, helping our young veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. We're dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and have a good transition back into their communities, their families, and get jobs and be as productive as we know they can be.
"The key is, we can't hope the government can take care of everything. So we as citizens have to do the best we can and help these folks who defended us and protected us as well. That's the big movement, that communities are behind this, individuals who aren't part of the government, part of the V.A. That's what the real significance is -- that we're all in this together, and these are important folks and the next Greatest Generation."
Welcome Back Veterans is funding programs at Weill Cornell in New York, The University of Michigan, Rush University Medical Center, Duke University, Emory University, UCLA and the Red Sox's Home Base Program at Mass General Hospital in Boston. These institutions are developing new programs and strategies to improve the quality, quantity and access to PTSD and TBI treatment for veterans, particularly those returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.