Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve Its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence Everywhere
The same was done at Chicago's Comiskey Park. At Washington's Griffith Stadium, the announcer paged high-ranking government and military personnel who were in attendance, but did not mention the attack. Reporters were told to check with their offices.
Hall of Fame center/linebacker Chuck Bednarik turned in his Army Air Corps uniform for a Philadelphia Eagles uniform. The last of the NFL's "Iron Men," Bednarik missed only three games during his 14 years with the Eagles. As a waist gunner in a B-24 Liberator, Chuck took part in 30 long-range bombing missions over Germany. "There was anti-aircraft fire all around," Bednarik recalled. "You just waited for your turn to get hit, but ours never came."
For his courageous service, Bednarik was awarded the Air Medal and four Oak Leaf Clusters, the European Theater Operations Medal and four Battle Stars, and the Good Conduct Medal.
Just as America’s general population rallied behind the war effort, so too did the NFL. Hundreds of players joined the effort through enlistment, as the NFL organizationally looked for additional ways to make a difference.
The NFL also donated the revenues from 15 exhibition games to service charities. The games produced a total purse of $680,384.07. It was reported to be the largest amount raised by a single athletic organization.
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