Vets honored at Memorial Day Diamondbacks game

PHOENIX - A group of World War II veterans watched the Diamondbacks play at Chase Field on Memorial Day.

“Puts tears in your eyes,” said Joe Santa Maria, 96, when asked about the experience of being with his fellow veterans at the ballgame.

“Britain, France… the Battle of the Bulge, I was there,” Santa Maria said of the locations he served during the war.

Military Appreciation Day honored all active duty, reserve, retired, and veteran military members, but the World War II veterans were a focal point.

“Any time we can have a home game on Memorial Day and honor those who have served for our freedom, it’s fantastic,” said Diamondbacks’ President and CEO Derrick Hall.

The WWII veterans had previously traveled to Washington, D.C. together.

“Patriotism is coming back in America, I can feel it,” said Gene Gresham, 87, who served in the Philippines during WWII.

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