Monday, May 30, 2011

Gibson very appreciative on Memorial Day

By Anthony Fenech / | 05/30/11

PHOENIX -- Memorial Day hits home for D-backs manager Kirk Gibson.

"I grew up in a very traditional household and a very patriotic household," Gibson said. "I think I understand the importance of people who fight for our freedom in the past and to this day."

Gibson's father, Robert, was on the USS Missouri in September 1945 when the U.S. and Japan signed a peace treaty that officially ended World War II.

The D-backs commemorated the holiday by honoring the military and those who died while in military service prior to Monday's game against the Marlins.

Staff Sgt. Denisse Weltha was awarded as the recipient of the Grand Canyon University American Hero Award, Cpl. Jerry Johs was awarded the American Patriot Program's Operation Fields of Green Award and U.S. Army officer Steve Martin threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

"I'm very appreciative of it," Gibson said. "They need to be recognized. I know I stand there for the national anthem every day, and look at the flag and support those people that risk their lives for us everyday so we can do what we do.

"I'm humbled by the whole thing, and they're very courageous people."

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