Never Forget

September 9, 2011 – Before today’s game, the Yankees held a ceremony to commemorate the tragic events of 9/11.

In the ceremony, congressional medal of honor winner Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry was honored and former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld escorted several wounded veterans, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade, onto the field.

Following the ceremony, Hank Grazioso of the Yankees ticket office threw out the game’s ceremonial first pitch. Grazioso lost both of his sons, John and Tim, on 9/11. Both men worked in the World Trade Center.

Grazioso is kind man, who is well respected throughout the Yankees organization for his spirit, work ethic and passion. I was honored just to be standing on the field with Grazioso in the moments before he took the mound. When Grazioso greeted me with a hug, I felt overwhelmed by his warmth.

As I’ve said before, Grazioso’s sons would be proud of their father today — and they would have been proud of him on every other day since 9/11.

After the game got under way, I interviewed Rumsfeld about the ceremony. While I was interested in his words about the festivities, I couldn’t wait to hear the former secretary of defense’s comments about Grazioso.

“I was happy to have a chance to visit with Hank and his family,” Rumsfeld said. “They are strong people, and I admire them for that. I told Hank that I was glad he was throwing out the ceremonial first pitch because I’ve got a titanium right shoulder, and I couldn’t have gotten it half as far as he got the ball.

“I have a lot of respect for the Yankees organization for hosting this ceremony, for bringing in the Wounded Warriors and for inviting the Medal of Honor winner to be here,” Rumsfeld continued. “As we approach this tenth anniversary of 9/11, it’s important for everyone to pause and remember the sacrifice of the troops, the firemen and the policemen, those who lost their lives and their families and friends. I appreciate what the Yankees organization has done.”

–Alfred Santasiere III

1 Comment

September 20, 2011
Alfred Santasiere III
Director, Publications
Yankees Magazine

Mr. Alfred Santasiere III:

Good morning, I am inquiring about the recent updates to the website. It is a project to give Yankees fans up to date information regarding a pivotal game played on September 20, 2011 versus the Tampa Bay Rays. With the regular season ending in just two weeks and the Rays making a memorable late season run, every single game is vital as far as positioning and securing a playoff spot.
This article would be a perfect fit to your website. At this time in the season in where baseball fans are wondering each and every second about their team’s strengths and weaknesses, it is important that the information they crave and need is up to date, informative and resourceful. With an upcoming double header today, all eyes will once again be on Yankees Stadium as well fans from the Tampa Bay, Boston and Los Angeles areas.
As someone who has written about the Yankees before, the information present is both informative. As someone who has followed the game of baseball for 15 years, there is no doubt that the passion and dedication to this game of baseball can clearly be observed and felt with my interest not only for the team, but the sport as a whole.

Thank you for your attention to this letter.


Rodney Frank III
Rodney Frank III
(813) 389-5419
7507 Okeechobee Court
Tampa, Florida 33637

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