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Taylor Honored In Emotional Ceremony

Posted Nov 30, 2008

"21" was everywhere at FedExField on Sunday. His family looking on, the late Sean Taylor took his place among Redskins greats. Redskins players were on the field as Taylor was honored. Taylor's father Pete addressed the FedExField crowd.

“21” was everywhere at FedExField, a reminder of the unlimited potential of Sean Taylor.

Taylor was added to the Redskins Ring of Fame on Sunday in an emotional pre-game ceremony at FedExField.

Taylor’s family, father Pete, mother Donna Junor, fiancé Jackie Garcia and daughter Jackie, was on hand and received commemorative plaques honoring the late Redskins safety.

After a 3-minute video tribute of Sean Taylor highlights, Pete Taylor spoke to the fans, many of them wearing No. 21 jerseys.

Taylor thanked Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder, Taylor’s teammates and the many fans “who blessed us during this trying time.”

“We all understand playing in the NFL is privilege,” Pete said. “Sean had the opportunity to play here. One thing we talked about when he came here was the 12th man, the fans of the Redskins.

“He stated that when you [fans] made this stadium rock, Sean rocked. Right now, Sean is rocking in heaven.”

Redskins players, wearing a “21” patch on the upper right side of their jersey, had asked to be on the field for the unveiling of Sean Taylor’s name into the Ring of Fame.

They ran to midfield as a group, where “21” had replaced the Redskins logo. Then they gathered around Taylor’s family.

Mike Sellers was among players to greet Pete Taylor on the field. Sellers also came over and said hello to Taylor’s daughter Jackie, in her mother’s arms.

Fireworks went off as the covering was lifted off Sean Taylor’s name on the Ring of Fame, high above the south end zone at FedExField.

The Redskins and their fans applauded their fallen teammate one more time.

Giants players stood along the sidelines and applauded as well.

And then the public address announcer: “Ladies and gentlemen, starting at free safety for your Washington Redskins, Sean Taylor.”

Clinton Portis, one of Taylor’s closest friends on the team, raced out of the tunnel holding a “21” flag, to the roar of the fans. Portis raced over and greeted the Taylor family.

"The opportunity for me to run out with the flag during Sean’s introduction--it was great," Portis said after the game "You always see ’21’ jerseys in this stadium. Fans always represent for Sean, and teammates and players, they represent also."

Added Portis: "I noticed the 21 painted on the field during the game. I think this is a classy organization. That’s the way you’re supposed to pay tribute to a fallen soldier."

Jason Campbell called it a tremendous moment for Taylor’s family, but admitted it was ’tough to watch."

"We just wanted to show support and comfort, because it’s still a difficult situation not having Sean anymore," he said.

Taylor became the 43rd member of the Redskins Ring of Fame at FedExField.

With his combination of size, speed, athleticism, ferocity and instincts, Taylor was one of the most unique and dynamic athletes the game has ever seen, despite playing less than four seasons.

He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection after the Redskins made him the fifth pick of the 2004 NFL draft following an All-American career at the University of Miami.

“It’s appropriate that Sean joins our Ring of Fame after a stellar career cut short far too soon,” Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder said before the game. “His life touched so many of us in such deep and lasting ways. His presence is all around us, in our organization and among our fans.”

Executive Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato added: “Sean was developing into one of the best to ever play the safety position, as well as becoming a role model to those who knew him. He still touches us every day in some way on and off the field.”

Last Thursday, the Redskins reopened a FedExField memorial outside of the stadium. Fans dropped off flowers and cards in memory of Taylor.

In addition, all profits from the sale of Sean Taylor merchandise benefit the Sean Taylor Memorial Trust Fund.

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