Posts Tagged ‘praiseworthy’

Memorial Day 2010

Sunday May 30, 2010

Dedicated to the memories of two men who exhibited unparalleled courage and dignity.  Finer men I never knew.

Uncle Bob Grundtvig (1931-2009), USN, an inspiration to all who knew him.

My dearest friend, Mike McLaughlin (1945-2008), USMC, who proved the adage: once a Marine, always a Marine.

May God Bless you both, your comrades in arms, and your loving families.

CBS Sunday Morning ran a piece this morning about the Van Doren family of Clyde, Ohio.

When the Van Doren brothers returned from World War II they volunteered to place flags on Veteran’s graves near their home in Clyde, Ohio. They had no idea this would become a tradition carried out by Van Dorens for years to come. 1

This year, three generations from the family placed over 1,200 U.S. flags at veteran’s graves from the Civil War to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  As flags are set, they pause briefly to announce each fallen hero’s name with due reverence.  The leader of this year’s crew was seven years old when he first participated in the ritual. My favorite segment was him being asked, “Are you obligated to do this” and his response: “It is a privilege.” 2

Watching this story, including the very young grandchildren learning the same values through participation, brought forth the emotion that accompanies indescribable gratitude.  I have deep appreciation every day, but especially this weekend, for all those who served and their families — more than ever for those who gave their lives on my behalf.


  1. Direct link may not lead where expected after this week, because it inexplicably leads to URL containing “1998/07/19.”
  2. Quotes from memory, not verbatim, but accurately capture the sentiment.

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Remembering Wayman Tisdale with Admiration

While flipping channels a couple of weeks ago, I stopped briefly on CMT and heard Toby Keith’s “Cryin’ for Me (Wayman’s Song),” a tribute to Wayman Tisdale.  It was the first I learned of his passing and, after looking up the news, I reflected on my memories of the man.

Wayman Tisdale played basketball at Oklahoma when my passion for the college game was very high, shortly after my own high school playing days ended.  His game was outstanding, his smile was infectious, his love of God and life were unmistakable, and he was immensely charismatic.

I’m always wary of presuming to “know” public people, and of consequently ascribing unwarranted character, or lack thereof.   The parts of their lives which aren’t necessarily guarded are too often carefully choreographed.  With Wayman Tisdale,  there was a genuineness which seemed rightfully to beg such cynicism be set aside.

He  so seamlessly integrated the different aspects of his life that it is unimaginable to me it could be anything but authentic.  The ease with which he moved from speaking about basketball, music, or his faith was inspiring. Never contrived, he exuded a passion for the life God gave him.

I’m not sure where my need to mention him originates. He was a public person I admired; but I’m not much enamored of celebrity and he was  a stranger to me otherwise.  Maybe that’s it. His magnetism impressed despite his celebrity, and I wish there were more public people like him.  I hope it brings a smile and some measure of comfort to his family that there are probably countless others, strangers like me, who will always remember him as fondly as if he were a personal friend.

May God bless Wayman Tisdale, and bless and comfort his loving family. And thank you, Lord, for sharing him with all of us.

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