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Phillies, Nats honor, remember Sept. 11

MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Fifteen years after Sept. 11, 2001, the Nationals and Phillies remembered the terrorist attacks of that day with an extended pregame ceremony at Nationals Park.

The events included a performance by the Army Drill Team, a recognition of Washington D.C. first responders and a flyover. More than 1,000 midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy marched into the outfield, and a group of them performed the national anthem.

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WASHINGTON -- Fifteen years after Sept. 11, 2001, the Nationals and Phillies remembered the terrorist attacks of that day with an extended pregame ceremony at Nationals Park.

The events included a performance by the Army Drill Team, a recognition of Washington D.C. first responders and a flyover. More than 1,000 midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy marched into the outfield, and a group of them performed the national anthem.

View Full Game Coverage

Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, who caught the ceremonial first pitch from Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, said he was glad MLB was recognizing September 11.

"We represent something bigger than just the game of baseball," Scherzer said. "We respect that 9/11 signifies much more than just a terrorist attack. It signifies us as a nation mourning a loss, coming together, and let's do something about it."

Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph, whose wife is in the Air Force, was 10 years old on Sept. 11, 2001. He said Sunday that he didn't initially understand the impact of the attacks but came to appreciate its significance, as his friends in the army have been deployed for combat.

"I remember sitting at the little pizza joint right down the road from my house," Joseph said. "Some of my friends and parents were there. At the time, you don't know how significant it is. You know it's a terrorist attack. I think the way my parents acted made me realize it was much bigger than I thought it was at the time. I was fortunate enough not to have anybody impacted, but now the older that I've gotten and the more connected I am with the military, it's remarkable to see how it has affected everybody."

The Nationals wore jerseys with red, white and blue team logos Sunday, and the first- and third-base lines featured emblems reading "September 11, 2001; We Will Not Forget."

Scherzer said he thinks it's important for the country to pause and think about people who died on Sept. 11 and also military members who died in subsequent wars.

"Those threats still continue to this day," Scherzer said. "And there's still servicemen and women out there that are putting their lives on the line for our right for me personally to be able to play baseball and do what I love."

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington D.C.

Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies