Astros honor local heroes on this Sept. 11.

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For the second year in a row, the Astros invited all active members of the local police, fire, EMS and military down to the field to participate in the Sept. 11 pregame ceremony, and for the second year in a row, our local heroes came out in droves.

Led by Chief George McAteer from the Houston Fire Department’s pipes and drums, scores of local heroes marched onto the field, in full uniform, as the crowd — an early-arriving one on this day — stood and applauded throughout the event.

Eight local heroes were selected to represent their organizations — people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and continue to protect and serve our nation and communities.

The eight heroes selected were: Emergency Medical Technician Aubrey Wayne Bashara; Firefighter Joe Reyes; Houston Police Officer Frank Pierce; First Sergeant Christopher Perez, U.S. Army; Ensign Andrew Johnson, U.S. Navy; Tech Sergeant Gregory De La Rosa, U.S. Air Force; Staff Sergeant Oscar Olivares, U.S. Marines; and Command Master Chief Craig Potts, U.S. Coast Guard.

The group threw out ceremonial first pitches and took the field as “honorary Astros” for Saturday’s game.

Other notes from the Astros’ observance of the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001:

USO Fundraiser:

The Astros in Action Foundation hosted a Mystery Autographed Baseball Grab Bag fundraiser, where for $25 fans could purchase a bag that contained one autographed baseball from the Astros current roster. Additionally, former Astros players and fan favorites Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman, Craig Biggio, Jose Cruz, Larry Dierker, Roy Oswalt and Jimmy Wynn autographed baseballs were included.

Home Sweet Home
The Astros Home Sweet Home program welcomed a small group of active, recently returned military personnel and their guests to a special Astros experience that included an on-field batting practice visit. They watched the game from a suite and were introduced on the field to the crowd prior to the seventh inning singing of “God Bless America.” On Saturday, the Astros partnered with the USO for the Home Sweet Home program.

Bagwell donation
Bagwell purchased 250 tickets in the All-You-Can-Eat section for Saturday’s game and with the help of Budweiser, the tickets were donated to active military in Houston, San Antonio and Temple.

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Enjoy the images from the pregame ceremonies, with a special tip of the cap to all of our local heroes on this day of remembrance:

The Astros began the ceremony by recognizing the “invisible heroes” who work tirelessly for the safety of all — the 9-1-1 call takers. Nearly 1,000 9-1-1 call takers and their families representing public safety agencies in Fort Bend and Harris Counties were in attendance at Saturday’s game. Here is Cell Phone Sally and two Texas Telecommunicator of the Year honorees: Mary Edge of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Aliana Hernandez of the Houston Emergency Center.

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Chief McAteer from the HFD’s pipes and drums.

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Heroes file onto the field

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The eight local heroes selected to represent their department…

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…throw out ceremonial first pitches.

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Moment of silence for the victims of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

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