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Patriots will recognize Sept. 11 with ceremony in preseason finale

08.31.11 at 7:13 pm ET
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The Patriots, who will be on the road for the regular-season opener (the weekend of Sept. 11) announced Wednesday they will recognize the 10th anniversary of 9/11 before Thursday’s preseason finale against the Giants.

The team will host former guard Joe Andruzzi, his three New York City firefighter brothers and his father, a former New York City police officer. It was an iconic moment in franchise history, when the four Andruzzi boys and their father were recognized on the field at Foxboro Stadium on September 23, 2001, just 12 days after the events of 9/11 as the NFL returned to play. The Andruzzi family will serve as honorary game captains and participate in the coin toss.

Also as part of the tribute, members of all five branches of the military will participate in pregame ceremonies, as well as local police, state police and local firefighters. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard will present five separate color guards for the national anthem while dozens of police officers and firefighters line the field from end zone to end zone. Approximately 200 armed service members, police and firefighters will take part in the ceremonies Thursday night.

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