Baseball may now be a global game, but it is still America’s Pastime. And no matter what other pregame ceremonies are on tap, the first pitch is never thrown before the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner to honor our flag, our freedom, and the men and women of our military.
I remember, as a kid, not really getting the true meaning behind the words of our national anthem—even though I knew them all and usually sang along. As I grew up, I began to understand the meaning of the words but sung them less. There was no animosity there; I just, for some reason, preferred respectful yet quiet reverence to vocalizing the words. And the same can be said for how we, as an American society, vocalize our appreciation for our veterans and active duty members. Some are very vocal in expressing thanks; others maybe not so much. But what’s really important is the meaning behind that “Thank you”…otherwise, the words themselves ring hollow. From providing active, tangible support to those currently serving, to taking better care of our veterans, our actions must speak louder than our words.
Not everyone serves, but everyone is touched in one way or another by those that do or have: family, friends, neighbors, co-workers. Sometimes the issues divide us, even when we’re close. Sometimes we root for different teams, even when we grew up together in the same town. But we all experience that minute or two of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the umpire says “Play Ball” that brings us together and makes us nothing but grateful Americans about to enjoy our Pastime. That means more than words could ever express.
And, incidentally…thank you.
This post was brought to you by Chris Reed who writes on MLB-Blogs
You can follow him on twitter @birdbrained