Billye Aaron: ' The spirit of Hank Aaron pervades this space’

Billye Aaron, widow of Hank Aaron, spoke to the crowd at Truist Park as part of the Braves’ World Series parade and celebration Friday. Billye Aaron made a rare public speech as the first one to address the crowd. Hank Aaron, the Major League Baseball and Braves icon, died in January at the age of 86.

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Here is the complete speech of Billye Aaron:

“Thank you. Thank you Terry McGuirk and Derek Schiller for this wonderful opportunity to see you and to thank all of you for the support you have given the Atlanta Braves over the years. But certainly, the chickens have come home to roost this time. The spirit of Hank Aaron pervades this space. He is here with us. He loved the Atlanta Braves and I am so very, very happy to be able to see these young men who have picked up the mantle and who are carrying it on. Thank you. Thank all of you. Thank you so much.

“I know it hasn’t been easy. It looks easy now because you are looking good standing on this stage and you have won the ultimate prize. The ultimate prize of Major League Baseball and that means something very, very special because we stand here at this moment because you are the world champions of baseball. And we are happy. We are just happy to be in your presence.

“You know, on occasions I would share with Henry one of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare written in the play Romeo and Juliet. Henry was my Romeo. I was his Juliet. And the quote that I often read or cited to him, I want to share with these young men and simply say, you are Romeo, we are Juliet. And remember you are so great that I want you to remember these words: ‘When he shall die, take him and cut him into little stars. And he will make the heavens so wonderful that the world will be in love with night and never worship the garish sun.’

“You are and you do represent the stars. Those tiny little stars in the heavens that we will always remember and appreciate you for all that you have done. Thank you. Thank you so much.”

Read more about the Braves and Hank Aaron

World Series Game 3: Hank Aaron honored in tribute when World Series comes to Truist Park

Mark Bradley on Hank Aaron: A great player, a greater man

The AJC remembers Hank Aaron 1934-2021

Legends Hank Aaron and Phil Niekro remembered at Truist Park for 2021 season

AJC book celebrates the legend and legacy of Hank Aaron in stories and photos