Monday, July 07, 2014

June Passages

I've been taking a "life break" for awhile, just enjoying family and friends. It's been a remarkably eventful five weeks, and unfortunately most of the news is bad. So this was either the worst or the best time to be offline.
American Cemetery in Normandy, France

It's almost impossible to find a jump-off point on world and national events, so I won't even try. But two significant days in June must be acknowledged before I can allow myself to move forward. The 70th anniversary of D-Day was commemorated on June 6, and Tony Gwynn, one of baseball's all-time greats, passed away on June 16 at the age of 54.

From everything that has happened, how did I pick those two events? Because both represent so many of the good and inspiring qualities of the best of the United States as a country, as well as the best of individual Americans. Both the victory of our valiant D-Day heroes and Tony Gwynn's professional and personal success, along with his final battle with cancer, embody courage, commitment, dedication, a sense of honor and duty, a determination to succeed, a quiet faith, and a humble acceptance of the challenging, often tragic aspects of life. All of these qualities contributed to making America great.

Tony Gwynn ~ 1960-2014
I hope it's not to late for us, as a culture, to recapture our noble and winning spirit. Our D-Day veterans are vanishing into history, and Tony Gwynn personified an old-fashioned sports idol whose actions on and off the baseball field made him worthy of the adulation he received. Despite the problems in our government and the world, I suppose a true American must always believe that a positive outcome is possible, no matter how grim our circumstances may seem. Believing in happy endings is a tough exercise at the moment. But that doesn't give us an excuse not to try.

Welcome to summer 2014. Who knows? It could be one of the best.