World War II vets part of Memorial Day ceremonies

All fans received miniature American flags before game vs. Padres

World War II vets part of Memorial Day ceremonies

SEATTLE -- The Mariners and Padres saluted Memorial Day and soldiers who gave their lives serving their country on Monday, wearing special jerseys and camouflage caps and standing alongside 30 World War II veterans along the first- and third-base lines during the national anthem prior to Monday's game at Safeco Field.

The Mariners' white home jersey featured camo in the lettering and numbers in a design licensed by the U.S. Marine Corps.

All fans received miniature American flags, while the pregame U.S. national anthem, as well as "God Bless America" in the seventh-inning stretch, were performed by Technical Sergeant Freddie Garza Jr. of the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

The colors were presented in the pregame ceremony by Joint Base Lewis-McChord I Corps Command Honor Guard and the ceremonial first pitch was delivered by Burke Waldron, a 92-year-old from Bremerton, Wash., who ran out to the mound and then delivered a left-handed strike to catcher Steve Clevenger in front of the plate. Waldon was a Second Class Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was stationed in Pearl Harbor.

The Mariners also honored U.S. Army Air Corps veteran Fred Parker of Olympia, Wash., during their Salute to Those Who Serve program at the end of the fourth inning, Parker, 92, was part of the D-Day invasion and flew 33 missions as a tail gunner on B-17 bombers during World War II.

There was a moment of silence during the seventh-inning stretch as part of the National Moment of Remembrance, which Major League Baseball has participated in on Memorial Day since 1997.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.