With Memorial Day picnics all over the country today, we will all enjoy the company of our friends, family and terrific food. Let us not forget the importance of this holiday as we honor those who have died while serving our country in the armed forces. While athletes who served aren’t any more important than other civilians who did the same, let’s take a minute to honor some of those athletes who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Pat Tillman – Arguably the most celebrated athlete who gave his life for his country, Tillman walked away from his $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the military right after the 9/11 attacks. In 2004, Tillman was killed by friendly fire.
Eddie Grant – The former third baseman for the Phillies, Indians, Reds and Giants was killed in 1918 while in the Argonne Forest in France while searching for the “Lost Battalion.” Grant was 35 years old.
Elmer Gedeon – Gedeon was a star of many sports in college, but decided on baseball for his profession. After being drafted for World War II, Gedeon served three years in the Air Force as a pilot before his aircraft was shot down.
Bob Neighbors – The former shortstop for the St. Louis Browns quit baseball in 1942 and joined the Army. On a mission 10 years later, Neighbors reported that he was hit and that he was bailing out. Neighbors’ body has never been found.
While you enjoy the festivities, don’t forget the real reason for this holiday. Find a veteran and tell them thanks.