Monday, May 2, 2011

Sports world shows us a snapshot of American sentiment

Unless you're a night owl, you woke up Monday morning to the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death. It was on every single channel – including ESPN.

The top story on ESPN was the top story on every station: Bin Laden killed in Pakistan. Some things are much, much more important than the score of last night’s NBA playoff games. 

ESPN opened SportsCenter with footage of the Phillies/Mets game from Sunday night, when the news began to spread of the Navy SEALS completed operation; people around the stadium started getting the breaking news on their phones and soon the Phillies video board showed a snapshot of a Web page confirming that the alleged mastermind behind 9/11 was taken down. Chants of, "U-S-A, U-S-A" began to reverberate around Citizens Bank Park; the crowd stood and clapped, cheered and hugged. They were outwardly showing what each of us felt sitting in front of our TV.

What was so significant about this display is that it is the only place where we have footage of so many people getting such monumental news at the same time. With this footage from Citizen’s Bank Park, we are able to see a snapshot of the American people – of 47,000 people simultaneously having a similar reaction.

Once again, our nation’s military are our heroes. Time and time again, our service members quietly go about their work, making the world a safer place for each and every one of us – without ever asking for recognition, kudos or even a pat on the back. 

Most likely, we will never know the names of the men who took part in Sunday night’s mission in Pakistan; they won’t get the recognition like Dwyane Wade after his 38 points against the Celtics Sunday afternoon or Vincent Lacavalier after his game-winning goal against the Capitals in overtime of Game 2; but the nation’s gratitude is with them on their next mission. 

And they proved to us, yet again, who the real heroes are.

*** This page and its content is my opinion and does not constitute endorsement, opinions or official position of the U.S. Army.

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