We think of famous acts of heroism where many are saved by a few who are lost.
We think of flags raised on the victorious battlefields of World War II or a single flag rising out of the dust and ashes on a bent flag pole on 9/11/2001.
Those of us who are old enough think of a little boy’s salute as his father’s horse-drawn coffin passed by on that awful day in November 1963.
We remember the line in the sand drawn at the Alamo and those who stepped across it.
I said this was a story about patriotism, and it is. Not all acts of patriotism are bold.
Sometimes acts of patriotism, acts showing love of country, are quiet and too often unnoticed.
This time, we witnessed a simple act of patriotism which occurred between two men.
They are patriots no less important than those who are more famous.
Maybe our beverage man was a veteran himself; maybe he has a son or a daughter serving in the military now; maybe he is just an American. Now, he is my hero.
For whatever reason, he decided, without hesitation, that he was going to do something good; to perform a small act of kindness for another patriot. His act was not without sacrifice. It cost him the price of the drink and the tip for which he had worked hard. The cost is not important; the act of the heart is. It is a sight not to be forgotten soon.
The next time we celebrate a patriotic holiday and I see the “bombs burst in air,” or the flags waving, or the bands playing, I will remember this scene. Because at that moment, the 90-plus-mph fast balls stopped, the crowd disappeared. For one moment, the world made sense and the reality became clear to me that the most important part of our night was not the baseball game; it was what we had witnessed.