Commentary by Jamye Wagner
Traditions are the lifeblood of our nation. Starting with our Founding Fathers and maintained by us today, they are everywhere…even in baseball. Well, especially in baseball. At the beginning of every game, we begin with our national anthem; “Oh say can you see….” During the seventh inning stretch, we sing, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” or “God Bless America” …depending on the ballpark. Either way, there is a tradition there. Even the umpire has his tradition, the game cannot officially start until he says, “Play Ball.”
We are in a weird era where traditions seem to be fading away. This year will mark the 22nd year since the September 11th terrorist attacks. Many will say, “Never Forget;” however, a quarter of those sitting in the ballpark were not born to remember. How do we include this new generation of baseball fans? How do we help include them with our tradition of remembering?
They will not remember that the Yankees were in town playing when the attacks happened in New York. How they visited the first responders helping at ground zero. They will not remember Mike Piazza hitting his epic home run. Or that George W. Bush threw out the first pitch when baseball returned on September 17th . This generation also will not feel the pain we felt, as a nation, during the recovery process at ground zero. They will not be able to grasp the understanding and relief when we heard that Seal Team Six got Bin Laden, many years later.
Never forget that we have a new generation of baseball fans. They may not understand our traditions, and that is ok. We may not understand theirs, but we can try to. One thing is for certain, we must remember those who lost their lives on September 11 th , 2001 and honor them. Remember how our nation was untied after those attacks and honor that. Baseball brought back together on September 17th , 2001. Be united as we honor their memory.