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NFL to unfurl patriotic theme for opening games

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- The NFL will salute "the American spirit" during its games on the first full day of the season, Sept. 11.

Pregame tributes will be synchronized on CBS and Fox telecasts and shown on videoboards in each stadium hosting games. Coaches, players and local first responders will hold field-length American flags for the playing of the national anthem.

The league said in a release Thursday it hopes to "unite fans to recognize those who lost their lives, honor the families who lost loved ones, and salute the American spirit, the early responders on 9/11, and other heroes that contributed to the nation's recovery."

The ceremonies will include a video introduction, followed by performances of Taps from near the sites of the attacks, and moments of silence. For the early afternoon games, Taps will be performed in Shanksville, Pa., while the late-afternoon games will feature a rendition from Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington.

One of the eight early games has Baltimore hosting Pittsburgh. Each team is based about 80 miles from Shanksville, where Flight 93, one of the hijacked planes, crashed nearly 10 years ago.

A late game features the Giants against the Redskins in Landover, Md., not far from where a plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington that day.

The Sunday night game will include a performance from Hoboken, N.J., looking across the Hudson River toward ground zero. That game between Dallas and the Jets will be played in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

Players, coaches and sideline personnel will wear an NFL 9/11 ribbon as a patch or pin on their uniforms and sideline apparel. All stadiums hosting games on Sept. 11 will feature the ribbon logo on the field.

Earlier this week, the league and the NFL Players Association announced they will contribute $1 million to three memorials and two charities related to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. They will contribute $500,000 to the 9/11 Museum & Memorial in Manhattan, and $250,000 to be divided between the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, and the Pentagon Memorial Fund in Washington.

The league and union also will donate all proceeds from the sale of auction items from Sept. 11 games to Tuesday's Children and MyGoodDeed. Tuesday's Children provides support and services to those who lost a loved one on Sept. 11, as well as to rescue and recovery workers who responded to the events. MyGoodDeed is the principle organizer of the Sept. 11 national day of service and remembrance.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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