Of the many things I love in my life, two of them I get to celebrate on the same day, every year; on Memorial Day.
The first is to celebrate, the life of my late Father, George, who was a decorated soldier in WWII, along with all those that have served and died for our Country.
The second is Lacrosse, a game I learned to love, growing up on Long Island.
These two will forever be etched together for me. It’s a tribute to the NCAA to annually crown its Lacrosse Champion on Memorial Day.
For me it goes much deeper…. I remember the first time I drove myself, in my white VW bug up a road along the Hudson River to watch a lacrosse game between the ARMY and the NAVY at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
If you have never been to West Point, I would strongly recommend it!
It’s an awesome experience to get within those gates to feel that incredible sense of security.
From that moment I was hooked on this curious game where you could play from behind the goal. I abandoned my baseball, bat and glove forever and picked up this funny looking stick with a net on it and never looked back.
Back then, besides perennial powerhouses, Johns Hopkins and Maryland, some of the finest teams came from the Military Academies.
My first idols were Pete Cramblett, Tom Cafaro, and the Army Coach, at the time, James “Ace” Adams. Tom was from my high school, and later became and All-American. All Three are inductees into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Not surprisingly, a few years later, I played for coach Adams, and became an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania, of course, every season, Coach Adams would schedule a preseason game against Navy at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.
Even though we were Ivy League, he wanted a shot at the Navy. It was in his blood.
Many years have passed, since then, but I was so pleased to see that the Army qualified in the Bracket again, coincidently against Penn! Unfortunately, both teams were eliminated. It is now down to the final four.
You can watch the Championship game on ESPN on Monday, Memorial Day.
Peace…I love you Dad! Love RayRay and a Poem
Remembering Our Warriors
We are the daughters and sons
Of soldiers who once
Left a safe place
Prayed for God’s Grace
Barely bigger than boys
Who abandoned their toys
They learned how to fight
With the mightiest might
Their calling was clear
Suppressing their fear
They gave all that they could
Warmed with fire and wood
They came back as grown men
And they’d do it again
But oh those that were lost
At such a terrible cost
They saw the horror of war
And bloody endured
For those left in a graveyard behind
Forever haunting their mind
Now their mission at home
Was a family to grow
Fulfilling their pact
To kept us children intact
Now the last of these men
There’s probably lesser than ten
We owe them this day
The last Monday in May
Written by RayRay 5/30/16 ©