Dignitaries visit Wrigley Field amid heightened security

May 18, 2012 10:00:00 PM PDT
Traffic around Wrigley Field can get snarled when the Cubs host the Sox for the Crosstown Classic. But thanks to NATO, traffic before and after game two of the series Saturday came to a grinding halt.

With dignitaries, such Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Gen. John Allen, taking in a 7-4 Sox win, security was tightened and streets around the historic ballpark were closed off to ensure their safe passage.

Parts of Sheffield, Clark, Addison and Waveland were closed to traffic before and after the game.

In addition to the increased security, Wrigley welcomed NATO, with the NATO flag and the flag of every NATO nation displayed on the field for a pre-game ceremony.

For Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, a NATO-themed game was a welcome addition to the Crosstown Classic

"I think it makes it better," Ricketts said. "It's cool. It is an exciting game to begin with. Layer in all the activities and the great people that will be here tonight, it makes it even more exciting."

Cubs and Sox fans formed their own alliance as they jointly cheered for members of the military present for the National Anthem

A flawless ceremonial first pitch by General Allen and a fly over by two fighter jets put the event in stark contrast to the mood downtown created by a massive protest.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said whatever comes Chicago's way during the next couple days, this city can handle it.

"I get so tired of all these people complaining?and saying what if, what," Durbin said. "This is the city of big shoulders, it's not the city of weak knees. We're going to have Chicago's finest out there. If people break the law, they're going to pay the price. If they want to make noise and march, that's part of being an American."

After the game, Cinton said it was great to be in Chicago to welcome friends from around the world.

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