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White Sox pause to reflect on Memorial Day

CHICAGO -- The White Sox honored United States military members with a pregame ceremony on Memorial Day.

There was a moment of remembrance followed by the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the official fanfare ensemble for the President of the United States, performing the national anthem. The ensemble was founded in 1959 to add splendor to official military ceremonies.

Challenger, a bald eagle trained for free flight, was included in the pregame ceremonies, landing near the mound as the rousing rendition of the anthem was concluded.

In addition to the Hero of the Game that takes place during the third inning, eight service men were honored as they took the field to greet White Sox players at their starting positions. Those eight service men represented the Navy, Army, Coast Guard and Marines.

Milton Greenfield, a United States Army World War II veteran, threw out a ceremonial first pitch to John Danks. Greenfield has received numerous awards and decorations for his service, including two Purple Hearts for his heroic actions at the Battle of Normandy and Bastogne.

His service also includes fighting at the Battle of the Bulge, pulling two men out of a burning tank and carrying a wounded man under fire nearly 175 yards through the snow. White Sox manager Robin Ventura and his team were honored to take part in the activities.

"Everybody has some connection or another. It's to honor them," said Ventura of Memorial Day. "You think of them and all of the sacrifices they've made. We wouldn't be able to be doing this if it wasn't for people that have served.

"It's emotional for a lot of guys we have on our team because of connections they have one way or another. We're always happy to do this, even the things we do in the top of the fourth inning. You honor those guys and everything they do to protect us."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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