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Yanks, Sox dedicating Opening Day to Newtown

NEW YORK -- The Yankees and Red Sox have announced plans to honor the community of Newtown, Conn., and the memories of those lost in the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

On Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on April 1, the Yankees and Red Sox will stand together in dedicating the game to the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting, their families and the greater community of Newtown.

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Pregame ceremonies will feature joint honor guards of Newtown police and firefighters, along with a moment of silence, during which a list of the Sandy Hook victims' names will be recognized on the center-field video board.

The Yankees and Red Sox will wear a special ribbon on their uniforms for Opening Day to honor those lost and those affected by the tragedy. This ribbon will also be prominently painted on the field in front of both dugouts.

To show Major League Baseball's solidarity in remembering the victims, their families and the greater community of Newtown, Commissioner Bud Selig has asked the 28 other teams to follow suit in wearing the ribbon during their respective Opening Day games.

"On Opening Day, we will reflect upon more important things and play the game to honor the community of Newtown," Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. "Since the day of the tragedy, our hearts and thoughts have been with those who were affected. We hope that bringing the families of Newtown together at Yankee Stadium later in the summer will give the community an opportunity to create new memories and aid in the difficult process of moving forward."

"Months have passed, yet we are still trying to come to grips with this incomprehensible tragedy," added Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry. "As our teams look to face each other on Opening Day, we will stand united in support of the families affected as we remember and honor those who were lost."

Twenty children and six adult staff members were killed on the morning of Dec. 14 in a mass murder shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the second-deadliest school shooting in American history.

On July 7, approximately 3,000 children, families and members of the Newtown community will be invited to celebrate summer vacation by attending the Yankees' 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Baltimore Orioles.

The Yankees have proclaimed the event "Newtown Day at Yankee Stadium," a date selected because the school calendar will be complete and allow for the most children and families to be able to attend.

"The Yankees organization has supported our community in several ways since the tragic events of December 14," said Pat Llodra, First Selectman, Town of Newtown. "Their generosity and compassion during this difficult time means a lot to all of us. We also would like to thank Commissioner Selig, the Red Sox and Major League Baseball for this meaningful tribute to our community."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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