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Packers, Jaguars join in pregame 9/11 ceremony

Ryan Wood
USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Cody Bennington, Miami Florida shows of his cheesehead while viewing a 9/11 memorial before the season NFL football opener  between the Green Bay Packers and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

JACKSONVILLE - There was a saxophone solo, a flyover and players from both teams helping to hold an American flag that covered the entire playing surface at EverBank Field.

With the NFL’s opening Sunday falling on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., teams throughout the league remembered the fallen before kickoff Sunday. The Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars were no different.

Players rarely are active participants in the pregame national anthem. On Sunday, Packers and Jaguars players joined volunteers — including military men and women — in waving a giant American flag that covered end zone to end zone.

"It was as emotional anthem I have seen in a long time," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I thought the tribute was phenomenal just to see public safety and the military and everybody locking arms. I thought it was special, unique and obviously should be the focus of what today is all about."