BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - There was a playoff game between the Biloxi Shuckers and Pensacola Blue Wahoos at MGM Park Friday night, but there were more important things to handle first.
Keesler Air Force Base provided the honor guard and a 21-gun salute as a way to honor those who died in the 9/11 attack.
The pre-game ceremony, which took several months to organize, hit a home run for those in uniform and those who came out to enjoy the game.
"It's just a good way to remember by being able to celebrate like this, and honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom," said Lt. Col. Ron Michael with the Mississippi Army National Guard.
Susan Mathieu of Ocean Springs says it was a time to reflect and celebrate.
"You're with your family and friends and you can look at the sky and remember the ones who were lost," Mathieu said. "Tell them they're here too."
Duffy Sledd, a retired Seabee, says the country is healing partly because of baseball.
"We now get to enjoy these ball games where right after 9/11, we were so worried about going to events and stuff because of terrorists actions," Sledd said. "We've gained a little bit of this back since 9/11."
Part of the celebration before the game included honoring one family for each branch of the service, along with members of the Biloxi Police Department, with a first pitch.
"It's America's past time," said Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Schneier from Camp Shelby. "What better place to be on a 9/11 memorial than a baseball celebrating America's sport."