Grammy-Award winning singer and Philadelphia native Patti LaBelle will perform the U.S. national anthem at the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Grammy-nominated singer Melanie Fiona will perform the Canadian national anthem prior to LaBelle's performance.
Shortly after the Flyers and the Rangers take the ice, members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Pennsylvania Air and Army National Guard will present colors while the U.S. and Canadian national anthems are performed. Philadelphia's own 1st Lt. Bud Evans, Staff Sgt. Evan McDonough, Senior Airman Scott Davis, Staff Sgt. Derrick Flood, Sgt. First Class Manuel Roman, Petty Officer 2nd Class Mario Robinson, Senior Airman Ethan Dewey and Staff Sgt. Terrence Garrett will present the colors.
During the performance of the U.S. national anthem, two United States F/A-18E Super Hornets, piloted by Philadelphia native and Flyers fan, Capt. Samuel J. Paparo, and Cmdr. Steven W. Kiggans, are scheduled to fly over Citizens Bank Park.
Immediately following the performances of the U.S. and Canadian national anthems, Staff Sgt. Deane Barnhardt of the U.S. Army will drop a ceremonial puck. Staff Sgt. Barnhardt recently returned home from a six-month tour of duty in Iraq, his third tour with Operation New Dawn Iraq. His two previous tours included a year-long deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba with Operation Enduring Freedom in 2005, as well as a 2009 deployment with Operation Iraqi Freedom. Throughout his military career, Staff Sgt. Barnhardt has received the Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star, which is awarded for bravery or acts of merit during wartime.