<i>Celebrating Our Nations Heroes: A Tribute to Veterans and Members of Our Active Military </i>

Hall Info Published on : 1/1/2005

On Saturday, November 8, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in observance of Veterans Day, will partner with the U.S. Army and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) to present the eighth annual Salute to Veterans, Celebrating Our Nation’s Heroes: A Tribute to Veterans and Members of Our Active Military.

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As a part of the day-long recognition, any military veteran or member of the armed forces and their spouse or a guest will be admitted free of charge to the Hall of Fame and receive a 10% discount in the museum store. All visitors will receive a specially created commemorative Pro Football Hall of Fame/American flag pin in honor of our nation’s heroes.

Highlighting the day-long recognition of our veterans and military will be a special program, scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. in the Hall of Fame’s NFL Films Theater, featuring America’s Army: Real Heroes, Sgt. Tommy Rieman who will speak about the importance of service to our nation. The program will also include a special tribute to Army Spc. Ross A. McGinnis, who recently received the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously.

America's Army: Real Heroes program puts a face on the exceptional soldiers who are at the forefront in the defense of freedom. Sgt. Rieman, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, distinguished himself by acts of conspicuous gallantry and courage under fire, earning the Silver Star, one of the nation’s highest awards for valor. Gravely injured with multiple wounds, Rieman twice put himself in harm’s way to protect his fellow soldiers and direct them to safety when they came under attack.

Spc. Ross A. McGinnis, according to the Army’s official report, was on mounted patrol in Adhamiyah, Iraq, on the afternoon of Dec. 4, 2006, when an unidentified insurgent threw a fragmentation grenade into his Humvee vehicle. Without hesitation or regard for his own life, McGinnis threw himself over the grenade, pinning it between his body and the Humvee’s radio mount, absorbing the lethal fragments and the concussive effects of the grenade with his body, saving the lives of his fellow comrades. In recognition of McGinnis’ self-sacrificing act, The Veteran Connection and Sunset Hills Burial Park will present to the McGinnis family a marble monument plaque that will be placed in the Medal of Honor/Liberty Square Monument Wall at Sunset Hills Burial Park.

Saturday’s ceremony will open with the Fife and Drum Corp., Color Guard, and the National Anthem will be sung by U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher Allen. Following the ceremony, Sgt. Rieman will be on hand for meet and greet opportunities and to speak about the Army’s Real Heroes Program.

Also on display at the Hall of Fame through February 2009, is the exhibit, Pro Football and the American Spirit: The NFL and the U.S. Armed Forces. The exhibit chronicles the many ways in which the National Football League and its players have responded to America’s call during military conflicts.