Rockies recognize heroes during 9/11 ceremony

Rockies recognize heroes during 9/11 ceremony

DENVER -- The Rockies commemorated the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. by honoring law enforcement, emergency response and military personnel during ceremonies before a game against the Giants at Coors Field.

The occasion was observed with a celebration of patriotism. Also, the Rockies presented a check for $80,799.30 that the club collected from fans on June 29 and 30 for its Fire Relief Fund to help those who were victims of the many wildfires that affected the state of Colorado. Rockies owner and CEO Dick Monfort presented the check on the field.

The club recognized 14-year Denver police officer Eric Denke, a recipient of his department's Distinguished Service Cross; Denver firefighter David Perez, founder of the Denver Firefighters Veterans Initiative and the Colorado Fallen Veterans Foundation; and 15 members of the U.S. Army Special Forces from Fort Carson as military heroes.

The Littleton Fire Color Guard presented the colors, and before the national anthem, a large flag was supported by Air Force Academy cadets, including members of the Air Force Academy baseball team; about 45 members of the U.S. Navy Recruiting District; and individual active and veteran military, police and fire personnel and paramedics.

After a moment of silence in honor of those who died in their duties, "The Star Spangled Banner" was performed by the United States Air Force Academy group Stellar Brass.

The special-guest ceremonial first pitch was delivered by the family of fallen Englewood, Colo., police detective Jeremy Bitner, who was killed in an automobile accident in May. Bitner's wife, Tina, and children, Anabelle and Ascher Bitner, participated in the ceremony.