NY Islanders: Military Hero of the Night is an awesome tradition

Arizona Coyotes v New York Islanders
Arizona Coyotes v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of those who have died in service to our country.

Along with Veterans Day in November, when we honor all those that served in the Armed Forces, it acts as an observance of the sacrifices so many made for this country. It's also a reminder that we don't need a national holiday to show gratitude and give thanks to those service members. Any day is a good day to show support and appreciation.

The New York Islanders help us do that every home game - and it's awesome.

For years now, during each game on Long Island, the organization takes a moment to recognize local military personnel in attendance who served our country or are currently serving the country. When the special in-game recognition happens, it's an event.

The crowd, regardless of their mood toward what's been happening on the ice, raises to its feet and gives the military veteran thunderous applause as he or she is introduced and greeted by an Islanders legend. Often Bob Nystrom, John Tonelli, or other alumni will be there to issue them a custom Isles sweater with their name on the back.

The claps start as their video plays and get louder as they are shown on the video board. I'm often struck by how reluctant some are to be in the spotlight as it happens. Later in the night, the team airs a tribute video dedicated to the Military Hero narrated by a friend or family member that nominated them for the honor.

There are all types of in-game traditions around the league, from goal celebrations, to singing pop songs, but few are as meaningful or impactful as celebrating the Military Hero of the Game.

You can help the organization honor military service veterans by nominating them for the upcoming 2023-24 season.