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It was attached to the left lapel of his sports jacket, above his heart.
“There’s no one dearer to me and so I’ll be wearing it all the time.”
His players’ uniforms will have a patch of the same design on the left chest for all their games this season, which has been dedicated to Myra Kraft. A philanthropist and hands-on volunteer, she died a few days before the NFL lockout ended, with her husband playing a major role in reaching a settlement.
“That’s the one thing I did for the last 4 1-2 months before Myra passed and it was with her knowledge,” he said, standing near midfield on the Gillette Stadium turf. “She knew how important this game was to America, so she gave me a pass. That was the only time I left her. … That was a good distraction, to be honest.”
Kraft choked up several times, his voice wavering, in his first public remarks since the news conference on July 25 announcing a 10-year agreement with players.
His wife of 48 years never sought praise for any of her philanthropic work, Kraft said. And she may not have realized all the good she had done for so many people.
“Well,” he said. “My sweetheart proposed to me (on) the first date when she was 19 and I was 20 and we were together for almost 50 years. So I had the best seat, the best person on the planet.”
His voice broke momentarily.
“I don’t know that she understood the global reach of what she did and how she impacted people. We have to keep that legacy going, and we will continue to do it as a family.”
He said many people with one-time needs have written letters, so an emergency fund will be set up to help them.
But on Thursday night, for about three hours, he can focus on the game he loves. The Patriots open their exhibition season against the Jacksonville Jaguars on the same field where Kraft stood on Wednesday.
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