Nationals Home Opener to be Dedicated to Washington Navy Yard Personnel

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Story Number: NNS140331-18Release Date: 3/31/2014 2:26:00 PM

From Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communication

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- In remembrance of the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard Sept. 16, 2013, the Washington Nationals plan to dedicate the team's April 4 home opener to the victims and survivors of that tragic event.

The team will host a number of pre-game events in tribute to those affected, beginning with a Navy Ceremonial Guard flag raising ceremony overseen by Vice Adm. Willy Hilarides, the commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the Navy command whose headquarters was the site of the shooting.

"We feel incredibly honored that the Nationals chose to make this day about the perseverance of our workforce" said Hilarides. "From the beginning, the entire Nats organization has been the ultimate good neighbor - offering space for families to reconnect after the shooting, providing food, honoring the victims on the field. We are truly grateful for all they've done and continue to do."

Following the flag raising, the ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Navy Capt. Chip Zawislak, and accompanied by Jennifer Bennett, Michael Jackson and Makonnen Eyob. Bennett suffered from several gunshot wounds to the shoulder during the shooting, and Zawislak, Jackson and Eyob kept her alive for hours while waiting for rescue and hiding from the shooter on the roof of the NAVSEA headquarters building.

Other events include the game ball delivery by Rear Adm. Mark Rich, the Washington Navy Yard's commandant; and the lineup card delivery by Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

Mary Knight, whose mother, Mary, was killed during the shooting, will announce "play ball."

The events are scheduled to begin at 11:30, April 4; game time is scheduled for 1.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit

News Source : Nationals Home Opener to be Dedicated to Washington Navy Yard Personnel

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