The New England Patriots held a moment of silence in honor of slain American yeshiva student Ezra Schwartz prior to their Monday Night Football game against the Buffalo Bills.
The crowd at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts stayed rapt as the announcer paid tribute to Schwartz along with American military servicemembers.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft stood at attention on the chilly night, a day after Schwartz was laid to rest in his hometown of Sharon, a suburb of Boston.
Schwartz, 18, a resident of suburban Boston, was killed Thursday in a Palestinian terror attack in the West Bank.
He was mourned by thousands in the United States and Israel, and was buried Sunday in his hometown of Sharon, Massachusetts. Story after story told by family members and his Maimonides School baseball coach, recalled Schwartz as a loyal Patriots fan who proudly wore the team’s jerseys and caps. Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots, is located in Foxborough, the town that borders Sharon. The Patriots will play against the Buffalo Bills on Monday night.
Ezra followed the team even while studying in Israel according to his father, Ari Schwartz, who said the family watched the games together over the internet. Recently, Ezra lost the connection on his end, but one of his younger brothers held up his phone to the televised game so they could continue watching, he said at the funeral.
“Football kept us connected and we loved it together,” Ari Schwartz said.
Robert Kraft, a Jewish philanthropist, owns the Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions.