The BNP Paribas Tennis Tournaments held its annual Salute to our Heroes on Friday, March 9th on the main court at Indian Wells Tennis Gardens. The event is to acknowledge our troops, past and present. Local Mayor, Tennis leaders and members of our police and firefighters were honored.
The Palm Springs High School Band marched onto the court in full costume. Girls with flags were part of the band also. They played our national Anthem and a medley of hymns honoring our marines, army and navy, air-force. The Colors were displayed the marines from the 29 Palms Marine Base. A large number of Ball-kids joined the others on stage.
We were honored by having the American Flag that flew over Ground Zero as part of the ceremony. This flag was restored with the help of Senators, Servicemen and families and survivors. It is a huge flag that took many marines to bring it onto the court. They unrolled the flag that took up a major portion of the tennis court. After it was folded it took 3 men to carry it out. The flag has been shown in all 50 states so people can know the history of this Flag,
Dan McGrath from EZ 103.1 radio was the emcee for the evenings event. It is an impressive event and the nights matches were free to all servicemen, police and firemen and their families The ceremony was held after the first evening match between Rafael Nadal and M Lopez.