Phillies to host special Memorial Day tribute for American Gold Star Mothers

May 27th, 2022

On Monday, May 30, at 3:30 p.m., the Phillies will host a special Memorial Day tribute that will honor American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., a Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization whose members are mothers of sons or daughters who died in military service. These courageous moms are now working together to preserve the memory of their fallen children through service to the military and veteran community. The heartfelt event will take place before that day’s 4:05 p.m. game against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park.

As part of the ceremony, Phillies Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer John Middleton and Top Gun: Maverick star Miles Teller will join American Gold Star Mothers Past National President Judith Young, to unveil the American Gold Star Mothers Chair of Honor. Young’s son, SGT Jeffrey D. Young, was killed in Beirut, Lebanon, on October 23, 1983, and was a Moorestown, N.J., resident.

The American Gold Star Mothers Chair of Honor will be permanently located in Section 137. This unoccupied seat will pay tribute to every mother who lost a son or daughter during active service and be dedicated to the memory of their loved ones.

“The legacy of our fallen heroes is carried in the hearts and actions of our American Gold Star Mothers,” said Middleton. “As we shall never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, we also remember and pay tribute to their brave mothers, who continue to serve our nation in memory, and in honor, of their beloved children.”

American Gold Star Mothers National President Jo Ann Maitland explained, “As part of our mission, our members have pledged to honor and preserve the memory of our children through service to the military community and to remind them that we are a grateful nation.”

Also taking part in the tribute will be the Honorable Patrick Murphy, former Acting Secretary of the United States Army, and Brigadier General and Deputy Adjutant General for Veterans Affairs Maureen Weigl, who will join the Phillies as they raise the Gold Star service flag atop Ashburn Alley in the organization’s honor.

“The mother of a fallen hero, as well as their family members, should not be forgotten, for they, too, carry the torch of true patriotism,” said Brigadier General Weigl. “Thank you to the Phillies for honoring these families. Their son, daughter, spouse or parent would have wanted them to be praised. Service takes more than the dedication of the military member.”

Other highlights include a moment of silence and All-Service Honor Guard. The tribute will also feature bugler Justin Nurin, who will perform Taps, which will lead off a PhanaVision photo montage of the American Gold Star Mothers’ fallen heroes.

Taking the field for a ceremonial first pitch will be American Gold Star Mothers National Service Officer Lee-Ann Forsythe. Her son, LCpl Marc Leeland Plotts, a third-generation Marine who followed in the footsteps of his mother, grandfather and uncle, died at age 20 in March 2010 after a training exercise in preparation for his deployment to Afghanistan.

During the game, the Phillies will honor American Gold Star Mother and Pennsville, N.J., resident Stacie Beals as the Rothman Hometown Hero at the end of third inning. Beals’ son, PFC Dalton Beals, was 19 years old when he died on June 4, 2021, during active training at Parris Island, S.C.

More than 150 Gold Star family members from all over the country will be in attendance for the tribute and will also be recognized by the Phillies during the pregame event.

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American Gold Star Mothers/Family Members and Their Fallen Heroes

Brittany Alston in memory of hero SPC Austin Monk, Army – Dallas, TX

Rachel Ascione in memory of hero Col Ron Payne, Marine Corps – Lakeland, FL

Lisa Baker in memory of hero 1LT Neil Santoriello, Army – Pittsburgh, PA

Stacie Beals in memory of hero PFC Dalton Beals, Marine Corps – Pennsville, NJ

Lisa Brunner in memory of hero EN3 Benjamin Alan Brunner, Navy – Vincentown, NJ

Susan Burkhard in memory of hero 1SG Kenneth Elwell, Army – Holland, PA

Marianne Cleary in memory of hero 1LT Michael Cleary, Army – Dallas, PA

Bronwyn De Maso in memory of hero CDR SEAL Team IV Job Price, Navy – Pottstown, PA

Judy Faunce in memory of hero CPT Brian Faunce, Army PA – Bensalem, PA

Lea-Ann Forsythe in memory of hero LCpl Marc Plotts, Marine Corps – Schuylkill Haven, PA

Melinda Kane in memory of hero LCpl Jeremy Kane, Marine Corps – Cherry Hill, NJ

Keith Knutson in memory of hero CPT Sara Knutson Cullen, Army – Eldersburg, MD

Debra Kornacki in memory of hero SK3 Brandon Kornacki, Coast Guard – Hilliards, PA

Brittany and James Kuhn in memory of hero SPC Devin J. Kuhn, Army – Northeast Philadelphia, PA

Christine Love in memory of hero A1C Brandon Erhart, Air Force – North Wildwood, NJ

Robyn Magee-Skinner in memory of hero PO2 Andrew Magee-Skinner, Navy – Chandler, AZ

Anne McFadden in memory of hero and Medal of Honor recipient CPL Michael Crescenz, Army – Philadelphia, PA

Beatriz McKee in memory of hero SGT Oscar Dulanto, Army – Allentown, PA

Nicole McNally in memory of hero Cpl Barton R. Humlhanz, Marine Corps – Doylestown/Hellertown, PA

John Mosco in memory of hero LT Christopher Mosko, Navy – San Diego, CA

Angela Oey in memory of hero CPT Grace Oey, Army – Princeton Junction, NJ

Julie Sandri in memory of hero SGT Matthew Sandri, Army – Shamokin, PA

Grant Smith in memory of hero SPC Tristan Smith, Army – Bryn Athyn, PA

Diane Styer in memory of hero PFC Brandon Styer, Army – Lancaster, PA

Judith Young in memory of hero SGT Jeffrey D. Young, Marine Corps – Moorestown, PA

Sarah Wargo in memory of hero SPC Michael C. Wargo, Army – Lehighton, PA