Those who know me are aware that my passions include politics and baseball. There are other things I feel strongly about, but these are the two I consider worthy of a blog. Swords into Plowshares covers a part--the international part--of my passion for politics, while Sharks Baseball addresses a part of my passion for baseball--the most important part since it covers baseball as played by my sons and their teammates at Malibu High.
Rarely do I cross-post or link between the two blogs, but I'm making an exception today because Paul Gallo, the baseball coach at Malibu High, informed me this morning that a great left-handed pitcher, a great person, and a great American died in last week's helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
You can read about Maj. Steve Reich of the U.S. Army here, on Sharks Baseball. I'm linking to his story on Swords into Plowshares because it's a story that serves as a reminder that, while we are living very normal lives here in the United States--having cookouts on the Fourth of July, going to the beach, and, yes, watching baseball--there are Americans serving the United States--that means all of us--and in some cases giving their lives--what Lincoln at Gettysburg referred to as "the last full measure of devotion."
Steve Reich of Shepaug Valley High School had a dream of playing major league baseball. (In 1996, he was signed by the Baltimore Orioles.) But he had a sense of duty that he considered more important than that dream. It's good for us to remember that the United States produces people like Steve Reich.
It's also good for us, as citizens who depend for our defense on people like Maj. Reich, to be sure we never ask for "the last full measure of devotion"--or even for the sacrifice of dreams--unless it is absolutely necessary.