Marathon victims, responders honored at NFL draft
UNDATED (WHDH) -- Current and former Patriots players secured a heroic title during the Boston Marathon attacks.
Joe Andruzzi, who had a special tribute to Boston during last night's draft, was one of the players who rushed in to help.
The NFL draft is normally all about football, but former Patriots lineman Joe Andruzzi used his time in the spotlight to pay tribute to victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Andruzzi brought some New England pride to the NFL Draft.
“We have a new saying in Boston: Boston strong, baby!" Andruzzi said to the crowd as he hoisted a ‘Boston Strong’ jersey with the numbers ‘617’.
He was there to announce the pats first round pick, but took time to honor those affected by the marathon bombing.
“The amazing survivors who have vowed to move forward in a positive direction and all the countless acts of kindness that have been exhibited in Boston and around the country and the globe,” Andruzzi said.
Andruzzi and his family are no strangers to acts of heroism.
Three of his brothers rushed into the World Trade Center on 9/11 and marathon Monday Andruzzi, who was there to raise money for his foundation, found himself helping those hurt in the blasts.
“We will continue in the hardest of times as we did at the marathon and show the goodness of people in the face of adversity,” said Andruzzi.
Andruzzi wasn't the only former patriot who helped victims that day.
Heather Abbott was standing outside the forum restaurant when the blasts went off.
Help came first from a stranger...and amid the chaos she didn't recognize the face - but she now knows the name.
“A gentleman who I later learned was Matt Chatham, picked me up, rushed me up the stairs and outside. He and his wife were attending to me as well as another member of the Andruzzi association,” said Abbott.
Chatham is a former Patriots linebacker and Abbott hopes she'll be able to meet him and thank him one day.
Going to the Boston Marathon has always been an annual tradition for Abbott, but she said she doesn’t know if she’ll be back next year because she said she doesn’t know how she’ll feel about being in a big crowd.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft also honored 25 Boston Police officers at the draft party. They were given '1 Boston' Patriots jerseys.