One of the great thrills being a Dad is your child learning the words to the Star Spangled Banner and singing it at a game for the first time. Hat off, singing in unison with the whole stadium, trying to figure out what all those strange words mean. When my son Jackson first sang the national anthem at a Rockies game, Barack Obama was president. It felt like everyone somehow still had a chance at the pie and at least from my perspective, that love of country was still a dream of inclusivity.
After the national anthem was sung, they honor a member of the military. Just saying you were in the military was not what was being honored. The soldier standing in uniform on the field as his or her story of heroic service is told was what inspired the applause to swell.
Since the last election singing the national anthem has felt like it we were just supporting Trump’s ego, although I know that is not why that ritual exists. Last weekend, standing in front of the largest american flag, Trump confirmed that notion capping his rambling ugly talk by demeaning athlete’s he knows nothing about.
The young men in this picture play on a field in Pittsburgh every fall weekend. They are being shaped into the finest young men their fathers and coaches know how to form. They are not taking a knee to protest anything here. They are just getting advice from their coaches and then going on the field as a team - giving it all they have.