Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

It's not often we say it around here, but here's some good advice from Shank (except for the part about getting a copy of the Globe):
No sports Tuesday. No games in Boston. Power down your computers and cellphones, find an actual newsprint copy of the Globe, turn to the obituary page, and look for the little flags that accompany some of those obits. Those are the men and women who served our nation so that we would have our freedom to watch ballgames and do everything else we do. Read some of their stories. The Department of Veterans Affairs calculates that we are losing more than 550 World War II veterans every day.

We lost Ted Williams (World War II and Korea) in 2002. Warren Spahn, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge before coming back to record the bulk of his 363 victories, passed in 2003. The great Bob Feller, who served aboard the USS Alabama in the North Atlantic and South Pacific, died in 2010. Johnny Pesky, a World War II vet, died at the age of 92 in 2012. Yogi Berra, a gunner’s mate on a rocket-launch craft during the D-Day invasion, is 89 years old.
Normally, this site would rip Shank for making himself part of the story. Today is not that day.
My dad, who died in 1979 at the age of 64, never played Major League Baseball, but he was part of that Greatest Generation and I think of him at this time because he was born on Nov. 11 before it was Veterans Day.

One hundred years ago Tuesday.

William J. Shaughnessy was the oldest of five children in a family that lived on Kirkland Street in Cambridge. My dad played some baseball, hockey, and football at BC High, but wasn’t any kind of sports star. At Boston College he dabbled in track and occasionally rowed, but I had trouble finding him in team photos from the dusty yearbooks. He graduated from BC in 1936, class treasurer in a class that included Thomas Philip “Tip” O’Neill.
Read the whole thing. Seriously.

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