Broadway's Judd Hirsch will tell the story of the U.S. flag recovered from the World Trade Center in the opening ceremony of the U.S. Open, dubbed A Salute to Heroes, Aug. 26.
New Yorker Hirsch, currently in the Broadway revival of I'm Not Rappaport, will be joined by native New Yorker Tony Bennett and New Jersey native Queen Latifah for the pre-tennis event in Queens. They will lead an "on court tribute that begins the 2002 US Open's first evening session at 7 PM," according to the US Open. Tributes continue for the next two weeks, surrounding the tennis matches.
Honor guards from the New York Police Department, New York Fire Department, Port Authority Police Department and the U.S. Marine Corps will participate in the Aug. 26 ceremony, as will the New York Police Academy cadets, carrying the U.S. colors as well as flags representing the 60 homelands of US Open competitors. The Merchant Marine Academy Band from Kings Point will perform leading up to the presentation of the so-called "Heroes Flag."
That flag flew over Two World Financial Center in lower Manhattan and was rescued by a police officer as it hung from a single remaining grommet atop the building.
On opening night, the flag will be raised atop Arthur Ashe Stadium. On Aug. 26, Bennett will sing "America the Beautiful," Queen Latifah will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner."
— By Kenneth Jones