Poppies in the Ballyard
This jumped right out of the blue, thanks to our cheesy tearjerky sports media. There I was, on Memorial Day, beer in hand, watching a ballgame on TV.
Everyone’s wearing camo-trimmed uniforms, like that’s supposed to honor the soldiers who gave their lives serving our country.
The home team pulls the ubiquitous surprise homecoming show, where the kids goes on the field and his dad surprises him in uniform, ladiesandgentlemenjusthomefromIraqisJohnny’sfathersergeantJackSchnarffblatt, tears flowing along with a couple million viewers, like that’s supposed to ease the pain of the kid whose dad didn’t come home.
There’s a jet fighter flyover, and like they do every Memorial Day, the announcers discuss Ted Williams, Warren Spahn, Bob Feller, and all the great sacrifices they made for their country, like that’s supposed to be what the holiday is about.
Those ballplayer veterans came home to Hall of Fame careers. Those jet pilots are still alive. Johnny’s dad got to reach out with warm-blooded hands and touch his boy again after serving our nation on the battlefield. And copies of those camo uniforms will end up in the Team Store, just another token every fan’s just gotta have.
There are ballplayers who didn’t come home. They didn’t survive the war, and you’ve never heard of them. They gave up their careers and laid down their lives before they had a chance to let you hear of them.
Why didn’t the networks talk about them? Who knows. But someone needs to say their names. Someone needs to tell their stories. Someone needs to honor these servants, these Moonlight Grahams of our military. Someone needs to enrich our lives, we lucky ones, we safe and free ones in the home of the brave, by speaking of their sacrifice.