Taking a Moment to Pay Respect to Something Greater Than Sports

Todd JacksonSenior Analyst INovember 11, 2009

This is an article my daughter and I got together on for a school project she had to do last year. Her job was to do something in the community to brighten a veteran's day. I wrote the piece, and she edited it for me as well as made suggestions along the way. It is a powerful piece and one of the best articles I have written in my short time as a writer. As a sort of tradition, I will post this article every Veteran's day as I feel it will always brighten a veteran's day.  It was the efforts of a fifth grader that inspired this, and I am very proud of it as is my daughter Caseya.  Happy Veteran's day to all our hereos, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

Athletics are based on competition. No matter the sport, the venue, or the athletes competing, the competition is based on opposing sides or teams, both hoping to conquer the other to taste the glory of victory, and avoid the bitter taste of defeat. 

On this day, those victories, that glory, the sting of defeat, all take a knee.

Those emotions take a knee to pay homage to a greater glory, monumental victories, and heart wrenching defeats. Those feelings harbored by our beloved veterans command our attention and respect on this very important day. 

Have you ever stood in front of the Vietnam Memorial? Powerful. You can feel the same power when you look a WWII veteran in the eye, extend your palm, and thank him for his sacrifices, and efforts. 

A man in his early nineties, Colonel Edward Lindsay, accepted such a gesture from me, and I feel the better man for it today. 

His eyes lit up like diamonds in the sun. That man has forgotten more about the importance of honor and dignity than I may ever know. He deserves more than my hand shake.

He deserves all of our gratitude.

There are many, many Mr. Lindsays out there deserving of our appreciation. The fact that this article is even being read is hard proof of the forward progress created at the cost of brave men and women who have sacrificed for our better good. 

The open sharing of information and opinions, many would do away with such freedoms given the opportunity. 

Not on Mr. Lindsay's watch. 

The simple fact that we have the luxury of spending time pouring out opinions, spending hours following our beloved sports, living in a great country that truly indulges such luxuries, is all the incentive we need to honor these great veterans. 

So many generations have endured and suffered in this country. All have their story to tell. There are the seasoned veterans like I mentioned before, there are our current day veterans of modern wars, and of course our brave men and women fighting for freedom elsewhere this very day. 

I believe right or wrong, justified or not, these difficult times galvanize us. These experiences make us stronger as a people, this is how we emerge victorious and free in the face of adversity.

These sacrifices and victories allow for us to enjoy a ball game, catch a fight, see a race, or go to a football game no matter which football is the one for you. 

We are passionate about our loves and loyalties. I hope we all take the time to share that with someone who stood before us to make it possible. 

If you are one of the many proud honorable veterans I speak of, my hat is off, my knee is bent, I thank you.