|Robert Kraft: POW/MIA seat at Gillette ‘another small way’ to give thanks to military||11.09.12 at 12:26 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots and the Kraft Family commemorated Veterans’ Day weekend and another milestone achievement on Friday as they became the first sports franchise in North America to dedicate a seat inside their venue in honor of American POW/MIAs.
The black seat in the handicap-accessible portion of Gillette Stadium’s south end zone plaza will remain permanently empty in honor of the nearly 92,000 POW/MIAs who have given their life to the military since World War I. Officials from the Patriots and New England Revolution of MLS were in attendance as the Kraft Sports Group owns and operates both.
“What an exciting day,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. “Thank you all for coming here today. This is pretty cool and just another small way we have a chance to support all the great military folks who do so many great things for this country and in many ways are still under-appreciated in my opinion.”
Assisting in the ceremony was approximately 100 members of the Massachusetts Chapter 1 of Rolling Thunder, a motorcycle unit that rides in honor of service men and women and those who have dedicated and given their lives to the military.
Rolling Thunder arrived at the ceremony on their motorcycles and cheered loudly after Kraft thanked them for their presence. The caravan of motorcycles took a ride around the stadium on the 100 level concourse before arriving at the podium.
“I hope we roll like that Sunday against Buffalo,” Kraft said after the roar of the engines calmed to an idle.
There were two former Patriots in attendance on the platform during the ceremony who served in the military. Gino Cappelletti served in the Army from 1956-58 while and Tom Yewcic was an Army lieutenant from 1955-57.