We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

An American Tradition: "Take Me Out to the Ballgame!"

Photo by Elisabeth Phillips
We joined nearly ten thousand people gathered at PNC Field to support the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders. Had a great time - despite the breezy cool temperatures. 

Besides keeping an eye on the game, I found myself doing a fair share of people-watching. The kids with Mohawk haircuts, the chummy couple sitting in front of us, the man whose wife made sure we knew he served in the military, the dancers who jived to the music, the constant parade of junk food addicts stepping up and down stadium stairways . . . . Americans, young and old, came out to celebrate Independence Day with a ballgame and fireworks.

Our time at the stadium represented more than a ball game. A young boy sang "The Star-Spangled Banner." Half-way through the game, we again stood to sing "God Bless America." We acknowledged veterans medaled with purple hearts and years of service. Old Glory blew in the breeze. Several times, the loud speaker blared Lee Greenwood's lyrics:

Photo courtesy of bing.com
And I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the ones who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up next to you
And defend her still today
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the U.S.A.

And there I stood, wiping my eyes, indeed proud to be an American, grateful for freedom's ring.

America's traditions . . . her melodies of patriotism . . . her symbols and all they stand for . . . . Somehow they've reached deep into the hearts of ordinary citizens like me. 

By the way, the Rail Riders won the game with a walk-off home run on the last hit, a memorable take-me-out-to-the-ballgame moment! 

Which country claims you as a citizen? What do you treasure about being a part of this tradition?


  1. When I reflect on the 4th of July, independence, and freedom, I walk away loving the blessing of choice.