*Authors Note: This was originally published on BrainofBMW.com, but has since been taken down due to reconstruction of the site. I am re-publishing it here on MMOS*
Growing up, every young person at one point or another in their lives has a hero. These heroes can be any person that a young kid looks up to. A lot of the time the kid’s parents are their heroes, while other times young kids look up to athletes.
Memorial Day is a day that should not just be celebrated one day a year. Every single day men and women fight for our freedom, whether overseas or right here in the United States. Those men and women are the real heroes today, for all the things they do to ensure we have the freedoms we do.
The weekend of Memorial Day, Major League Baseball celebrates the military and rightfully so. Multiple men and women who serve for this country are honored before the games, with a huge American flag being stretched out throughout the outfield. I think that the MLB should do this before every game being that the military doesn’t take days off. We should celebrate their services to this country every day, not just a couple times a year.
The MLB isn’t the only sports league to celebrate the brave men and women, but they are best known due to the fact that that its season is going on, while the NBA and NHL are close to wrapping up, and the NFL doesn’t start until the fall. Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment is not as popular as the four major sports in America, but they offer free tickets to their live events to those who serve in the military and I think that is a great thing.
There have been multiple athletes who have served in the United States military over the years. One of the more known stories in recent memory is that of Pat Tillman. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, eight months to be exact, Tillman left the Arizona Cardinals to go serve this country. He did a tour of Iraq before being redeployed to Afghanistan. He was killed during a friendly fire in April of 2004. He was awarded a Silver Star and a Purple Heart, two prestigious things to be awarded in the military. The Cardinals and his former college, Arizona State, both retired his number.
Tillman should be honored for fighting for our country, but he is not the only athlete to ever fight for our country. There are numerous athletes, who were stars in their respective leagues, including Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, David Robinson, and Jackie Robinson to serve our country. There are also quite a few athletes who were not as big of stars to serve and somewhat go unnoticed.
For example, Jerry Coleman, who played for the Yankees, served in two different wars. He is the only MLB player to ever serve in two wars. He postponed the start of his career to fly as a Marine World War II, and then left baseball to fly in the Korean War. He won four different World Series championships with the Yankees. He is not as well known as other star athletes to serve this country, but he deserves just as much recognition.
Whether it is a famous athlete, a lesser known athlete, a relative, or just simply anyone in the military, we should thank them as much as possible, and recognize them as the heroes of today. Without them, we would not have our freedoms that we all enjoy, nor would we be able to watch sporting events and have the children of today look up to and admire these athletes.
Thank you to every single member, past or present, to serve in the military. Words cannot describe how appreciative I am for your contributions to this country. God bless you all.