Last July 4th, I came across a video of the Boston Red Sox unveiling a new seat at Fenway Park, but there would never be a ticket sold for this seat and nobody will ever sit there. This seat was also different than the traditional green seats of Fenway Park, instead it was a black seat, and there was a plaque sitting behind it. The plaque reads:
You are not forgotten
Since World War I, more than 92,000 American soldiers are unaccounted for.
This unoccupied seat is in dedication to the memory of those brave men and women and to the sacrifices each made in serving this country
God bless you. God Bless America
The seat and plaque were dedicated to POW/MIAs. I come from a family with a history of military service, as does my fiancé, so it was a no-brainer for me to write an article about it for the website I was with at the time.
I received a ton of positive feedback from the article, including a message from a man named Joe D’Entremont. Joe is the president of the Massachusetts chapter of Rolling Thunder, and the man spearheading an effort to get a seat dedicated in every stadium in New England. I found out that the New England Patriots home, Gillette Stadium, also had one of these seats. Same goes for TD Garden, the home of the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. The short-season affiliate of the Red Sox, the Lowell Spinners, had even added a seat.
After many conversations with Joe, I knew I had to do what I could to try and get seats placed in ballparks closer to me, in California at the time and now in Arizona. In my initial effort, I struck out, but with a move to Arizona on the horizon, I reached out to ballparks within the Cactus League.
It is then I began conversations with Debbie Diveney, Business Operations Supervisor at Goodyear Ballpark, the Spring Training home of the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians. With the joint efforts of the fine folks at Goodyear Ballpark and Hussey Seating, a new seat was unveiled on Friday. Up on the concourse, behind home plate at isle 113, there is a black seat with the icon POW/MIA logo. It too has a plaque placed behind as you can see in the picture below.
I swell with pride today with the knowledge that I had just a small part in honoring those who are still unaccounted for and hope seats like this one continue to pop up in ballparks, arenas, and stadiums across the United States.