Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rick Monday's Flag-Saving Moment Still Winning Salutes

From USAToday.com -- While eating lunch today, I was perusing a copy of the USA Today newspaper. I came across an article that I thought I would share with you today. With all the negative news lately regarding the war in Iraq, I found this story very refreshing.

Thirty years ago, two men jumped the fence at Dodgers Stadium while the Dodgers were playing the Chicago Cubs. They laid an American flag down on the outfield and were about to light it on fire when Chicago Cubs outfielder, Rick Monday, came dashing by and snatched up the flag before they were able to burn it. The stunned crowd first sat there in silence, and then erupted into cheers for Monday when the realized what he had done. They then proceeded to launch into God Bless America.

Here are few excerpts from the article:

"The hand was trembling, the voice was quivering and tears were running down his face.

The World War II soldier, who survived the Pearl Harbor attack, looked Rick Monday in the eyes, slowly raised his right arm, and saluted him.

"Thank you," Monday recalls the soldier telling him last year. "And thank you from all of my shipmates."

Thirty years ago today, Monday became an American hero.

It was the day he saved the American flag."

"It was the greatest heroic act that's ever happened on a baseball field," Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda said. "He protected the symbol of everything that we live for. And the symbol that we live in the greatest country in the world."

The Hall of Fame recently voted Monday's act as one of the 100 classic moments in the history of the game. Monday, who spent 19 years in the major leagues and is a Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster, will be honored tonight with a video tribute at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

They'll replay a grainy videotape that was discovered in 1984 showing two people jumping over the railing in left field and spreading the American flag onto the Dodger Stadium turf. One man dousing the flag with lighter fluid. The other lighting a match. And Monday, playing for the Chicago Cubs, running in from center field, grabbing the flag and carrying it to safety.

They'll play Vin Scully's voice from the radio broadcast: "Wait a minute, there's an animal loose. Two of them! I'm not sure what he's doing out there. It looks like he's going to burn a flag. ...

"And Rick Monday runs and takes it away from him!"

What a story! To read the entire article and see a picture of Monday grabbing the flag, go to USAToday.com.

Remember our war heroes, support our current soldiers and make it a great day!

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