United to honor hometown heroes

D.C. United will pay tribute to "Hometown Heroes" through a series of events surrounding the team's match this Saturday, September 11th against the Dallas Burn. In addition to honoring local law enforcement offices, fire departments, emergency medical personnel and members of the military who continue to selflessly serve and protect their communities, D.C. United will offer these and other public safety groups discounted tickets to the match and donate a portion of the proceeds from the Inaugural Hometown Heroes Day to the Pentagon Memorial Fund. Kick-off for the game, scheduled for national television broadcast on ESPN2, is set for 4 p.m. ET.

"As many Americans take time this Saturday to reflect and remember, D.C. United is committed to honoring those who continue to work towards making our society a better place," said United Sr. Vice President Stephen Zack. "We are proud to salute these brave individuals and hope that, as an organization, we too can make a difference in our community."

Prior to the match, the national colors will be presented by the Pentagon Police Department. The flag they will carry was rescued from the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001 by a joint team of Pentagon Police and United States Army Military Police personnel. Originally purchased in 1976, the flag's whereabouts prior to the attack could not be determined due to the extensive damage the Pentagon suffered.

Paul Gonzales will perform a ceremonial coin toss. A former US Navy Officer representing the Defense Intelligence Agency, Gonzales sustained injuries on September 11, 2001 as he led his surviving office mates to safety during the attack on the Pentagon.

Representatives from a host of area police and fire departments will then participate in the unfurling of the American flag, complementing the presentation of the national colors. Among the participants will be Ed Petke, brother of D.C. United defender Mike Petke. Ed Petke is an officer in the Prince William County Police Department.

D.C. United will be wearing 9/11 "Remember" patches on their uniforms for this match. The patches, which feature the familiar representation of a pentagon surrounding the twin towers, were donated by the Arlington County Police Department. The club will also honor the Hometown Heroes as part of Soccer Celebration. Representatives from a variety of local public safety organizations will host demonstrations and displays in Lot 8 before the match.

To purchase tickets for the Inaugural Hometown Heroes Day, visit or call 202-587-5000

Pentagon Memorial Fund
The Pentagon Memorial Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to raise funds to construct and maintain a memorial to the 184 people who lost their lives in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Located near the original impact site on the west façade of the Pentagon, the memorial will be a place of peace and remembrance, with individual memorial units dedicated to each of the 184 victims.

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