BOSTON -- Patriots' Day was once again a festive occasion at Fenway Park, with the Red Sox hosting the Blue Jays Monday at 11:05 a.m. ET, and the Boston Marathon passing through Kenmore Square in the early afternoon.
But Monday was also a time to reflect on the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013.
Prior to the Blue Jays' 4-3 victory on MLB Network, MLB.com streamed a ceremony that included a first pitch thrown by Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman and actor/producer Jake Gyllenhaal, who will portray Bauman in the upcoming film "Stronger," currently being filmed in Boston.
"Well, I think the first and foremost thing is that you can't forget the victims and those that were impacted most directly," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Not only the individuals themselves, but certainly their families. That was a surreal moment when it took place."
And the Red Sox did what they could to help the "Boston Strong" unity that developed.
Most notably, David Ortiz rallied the Fenway faithful with a powerful pregame speech five days after the bombing that was so memorable President Barack Obama recently referenced it in a television interview.
"When Ortiz went out and said [that], it was probably the only time that America didn't have a problem with somebody cursing on live TV ... when he talked about Boston and how strong it was and that it was not going to be intimidated," Obama said in an in-game ESPN interview when MLB made a trip to Cuba in March. "And that is the kind of resilience and the kind of strength that we have to continually show in the face of these terrorists."
An American flag was draped over the Green Monster during the national anthem on Monday.
The Red Sox went on to win the World Series in 2013.
"The thing we take away from it is how much we came together as a city and the unity that you felt," said Farrell. "In many ways, it was something that propelled us."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.