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Athletes in your Community: Tom is terrific in day of remembrance

Members of of the U.S. Navy enjoying some well earned time on land. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

Veteran’s Day is one to reflect and remember all of the sacrifices made by the women and men of our armed services here in the United States.  For one Tom Seaver, it is a doubly special occasion, as the former New York Mets-star once served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves with the AIRMFPAC 29 in Palms, California.

Eventually Seaver became an Icon here in New York, earning the nickname ‘Tom Terrific’ thanks to his performances on the hill for the Mets.  The righty led the Metropolitans to a World Series championship in 1986, also was recorded many other accolades throughout his great career.

“The things that I’ve learned –I integrated when I became a pitcher,” Seaver said of his time in the service, “Everything from the discipline to focus and respect for the uniform, all that and more is what I learned from being in the Marines.”

On a beautiful Thursday Morning in Citi Pond at Bryant Park, Seaver once again earned his nickname by taking time out to honor his fellow Veterans in a moving ceremony featuring many featured singers and songwriters.

Mets-great Tom Seaver, who served in the Marine Corps Reserves taking time to honor fellow Vets. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

Thanks in large part to Citi, which is the leading global financial services company; Seaver along with nine other honored guests took time out to honor those who gave their lives in service to this country.

“Veterans Day is a great opportunity to pay tribute to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who have put their lives on the line and served our country with the utmost courage, and honor,” said Suni Harford, Managing Director and Citigroup’s Regional Head of Markets for North America. “Citi has a history of supporting veterans’ causes and understands that entire families sacrifice when one individual serves, so we are proud to welcome past and current members of the military and their families for a day of appreciation.”

Approximately 1,000 members of the different branches all gathered at Citi Pond, and were treated to amazing performances-including the National Anthem from 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Darlene Love.

Love is the only female inductee in the Rock and Roll Class of 2011, and celebrated her 50th anniversary in the entertainment industry in style with the troops in attendance. There were also performances by acclaimed gospel singer Gerard Placide, who is a U.S. Army Iraq War Veteran, up-and-coming recording artist Tora Fisher, singer/song-writer Kelly Trudell and the vocal trio known as United We Sing.

In probably one of the most moving moments of the day, was when Cyndi Ventura took to the stage to speak to the crowd. Mrs. Ventura is a Blue and Gold star mother, having two of her sons serving in the U.S. Army, sadly though, one of Cyndi’s sons did not come home.

Speaking on behalf of families such as herself, Cyndi spoke of how difficult, but yet how incredibly proud she was to have her two boys serving this country. In the most historical moment of the day, was when the members of the Navajo Code Talkers were recognized.

Proudly serving during World War II the Navajo Code Talkers were a group of distinguished Navajo Marines, who helped to transmit crucial communications to our troops. The Code Talkers were able to fashion the most ingenious and most successful code in military history, while also serving in every major engagement in the Pacific theater from 1942-1945.

“We’d like to thank the United War Veterans Council, the organizers of the annual New York city Veterans Day Parade, for their tremendous support in co-producing what promises to be a memorable and exciting event at Citi Pond,” said Christopher Page, Citi Veterans Program Manager. It was a very special day for Page, who also served in the Armed Forces.

For more information on the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade and the United War Veterans Council please visit:

www.vetsday.org

For more information on the Citi organization, and the great work they are doing check out:

www.citigroup.com

Written on November 12, 2011

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