The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, which is located on the campus of Montclair State University, will honor the Yankee legend's D-Day service on the 75th anniversary of the iconic World War II event with a tribute ceremony held in the Museum's stadium-style theater.
The afternoon program will feature a short program about the significance of the D-Day invasion, as well as the role of Seaman Second Class Lawrence Peter Berra on that historic day.
Strong military and naval presence will contribute to the celebration, which is open to the public.
On June 6, 1944, before Yogi donned the pinstripes, he served his country as an 18-year-old gunner for the U.S. Navy, manning a rocket-boat during the Allied invasion of Normandy.
|Yogi Berra in his Navy uniform.
In recognition of that service, he was awarded the inaugural Bob Feller Act of Valor Award in 2013. Bob Feller, a star pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, was the first active professional athlete to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces just days after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The award in his name recognizes the integrity and dedication in serving our country that Feller displayed, qualities that Berra embodied throughout his long life.
The commemoration is part of a larger initiative coordinated by the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation that includes simultaneous tributes at the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Baseball Heritage Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
In addition, the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation will commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day with the relaunch of its mobile educational exhibit at the Baseball Heritage Museum in Cleveland. The exhibit focuses on the timeless importance of service, citizenship, and sacrifice demonstrated by those who served in World War II, including 37 Baseball Hall-of-Famers and more than 500 Major League Baseball players.
Leon Day, a Negro Leagues star who also took part in the D-Day invasion, will be featured in commemorative activities at the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City on June 6 as well.
Peter Fertig, President of the Act of Valor Foundation, said, "The Foundation is honored to be relaunching our strong educational initiative to a younger generation. We are especially privileged to collaborate with three historic museums while honoring two special WWII Hall of Fame members - Yogi Berra and Leon Day - who served directly on D-Day. It is through this very strong connection between Major League Baseball and the United States Military that we honor and remember the incredible service and sacrifice of these great men, which infuses the legacy they have left behind for younger generations."