"With such a significant milestone anniversary, we thought it was important to recognize the veterans who served during the Vietnam War," Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said. "The divisive nature of that conflict, coupled with the psychological issues they grappled with upon their return, made for an unwelcome homecoming for many of these service members. While we cannot erase the past, this is one small way we can pay tribute to their service and recognize the sacrifices they made for their country."
Welcome home to ALL VietnamVeterans. It65533;65533;65533;s an honor to have had over 1,300 Vietnam Veterans on the field at @fenwaypark this afternoon pic.twitter.com/1BGUuo38FB
- Home Base (@homebaseprogram) July 15, 2017
The ceremony was put together by Home Base, which is a partnership program between the Red Sox Foundation and the Massachusetts General Hospital, with the goal of "healing the invisible wounds for post-9/11 veterans, service members and their families through world-class clinical care, wellness, education and research."
A moment of silence and the playing of the national anthem concluded the pregame ceremony, along with the flyover of four F-15 jets.
In the middle of the third inning, members of the sellout crowd -- along with Yankees and Red Sox players and coaches -- held out placards displaying the name of a veteran that they wished to honor.
Fenway Park salutes veterans NYY@BOS: Players and fans salute veterans at FenwayYankees and Red Sox players, along with fans at Fenway Park, hold cards that say "I salute" as they recognize loved ones who are veterans
Earlier in the day, Home Base held its eighth annual "Run to Home Base" fundraiser at Fenway Park. An estimated 2,000-plus participants took part in the 9K run or 5K run/walk in order to raise money and awareness for the organization.
Evan Chronis is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.