Whether you or a member of your family have served in the military, or you just want to honor those who have, head out to the Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, July 24 for their annual Military Appreciation Day. The afternoon includes a full slate of events to pay tribute to those who have served our country, as well as honor the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
“The New York Racing Association is honored to recognize the service and dedication of the men and women of the United States military,” Dave O’Rourke, President and CEO of NYRA, said in a statement. “Military Appreciation Day is one of the highlights of the season and we look forward to continuing this great Saratoga tradition.”
Among those honored at the winner’s circle throughout the day will be NYRA employees who have or are currently serving in the military. A ceremony for them will be held at 11:15 am, along with the National Anthem, sung a cappella by Racing City Chorus, and a Presentation of Colors from West Point Military Academy cadets.
The winner’s circle will also see a tribute to the late Saratoga Springs Mayor Ellsworth Jones, who received a Bronze Star for his bravery on D-Day. His son, Matthew Jones, and a World War II veteran will be invited down to the winner’s circle to ring the bell 17 minutes to the third race’s post time in honor of the former mayor and his brother, Sgt. John F. Jones, who was declared missing in action during the War.
Between races, visitors can enjoy music at the Coca-Cola Saratoga Pavilion from Racing City Chorus and Michael Clement. While at the Pavilion, learn more about the numerous local organizations who support our troops, including the Veterans Community Housing Coalition, Stars for our Troops, Patriot Flight, Patriot Guard Riders, the Albany Vet Center, and STRIDE Adaptive Sports.
In honor of Military Appreciation Day, veterans and service members who present their valid military ID will receive free grandstand admission.