A Veteran's Day Thank You
Thank you to any and all of you who have served or are serving in our Armed Forces. Your sacrifice allows us to enjoy a life with freedoms and privileges beyond the imagination of so many in the world.
Since this is a baseball site, I’d like to relate a brief story about one of those sacrifices. I’m a bit of a local historian and recently came across a booklet prepared a number of years ago for a reunion of the class of 1940. In the booklet, each graduate submitted a brief biography of his or her “life after high school”.
One of the members of this class of 22 graduates was a good baseball player. A year after he graduated he was fortunate to be invited to go to Omaha to try out for the Cardinals. He was successful and received an invitation to Spring Training in 1942.
But then came December 7, 1941 and Pearl Harbor. Suddenly baseball was unimportant. Although the major leagues continued to play at the request of President Roosevelt, many of its players enlisted and the ranks of the major and minor leagues were decimated. Players interrupted their careers – or never really started them – to serve.
As I read the biography of the gentleman from my town, I was impressed with his tone and how there was no bitterness for “missing his big chance” but just an acceptance of what was most important. His sacrifice was, after all, primarily that of an opportunity. After his service, he went on to raise a family and live (and still lives) a wonderful life. So many others lost their lives or were injured and forever changed.
But it is a reminder that sacrifices came in all shapes and forms. So to each of you who interrupted your life to serve your country, THANK YOU.
P.S. I tried to find something to tie this into the Washington Senators so it could qualify for the "Minnesota Twins" forum but while I didn't find a lot specifically about the Senators during World War 2, I greatly enjoyed this site about "Baseball In the Military": http://legacy.stripes.com/baseball/article6.htm
P.P.S. That site has a great page about Cecil Travis, a Washington Senator: http://legacy.stripes.com/baseball/article2.htm so there is that elusive connection I so wanted!