Many in our softball community have ties to the military and have a unique perspective on today’s holiday.
We reached out to some friends of Extra Inning Softball to get their perspective on what this day means… here are their thoughts.
My family has a long history of military service. My dad just recently retired from the United States Air Force, but long before that my family has served.
Both of my grandfathers, great grandfathers, great-great grandfathers, and my great uncle have served in the military.
One of my family members, Orville Langenwalter was serving on the USS Arizona during Pearl Harbor. He was 24-years-old when he was killed there.
On Memorial Day I am thankful for each one of their services, but especially those whose lives were lost while serving our country. I am so proud to have grown up being a child of the military. Thank you to all of our soldiers that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of our country. And also to those that are still serving.
--- Caroline Patterson, Top 50 honoree in 2024 Extra Elite 100; catcher with Georgia Impact Lewis 05
On this Memorial Day it is a time for me to take pause and really remind myself about all the amazing sacrifices made by so many on our behalf.
Having spent 28 years in the Army you get to see what true sacrifice looks like. Every day young men and women enlist to serve their country and essentially say, “Take me, I’ll go.”
They do this at great personal sacrifice to themselves and their families. In some cases that sacrifice turns into the ultimate sacrifice and they give their life in service to their country. Our personal freedoms and liberties are built on these sacrifices and they are protected by their honor and our personal desire to protect them at all cost.
This Memorial Day take time to remember that sacrifice and rather than be sad about their loss, smile and know that the best this country has to offer gave all they had to make this great nation the great nation that it is.
--- Scott Smith, Texas Bombers National Program Director & Founder of “For the Heroes”
My wife Shante and I both served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force so for us Memorial Day is a solemn day of remembrance for everyone who died serving in the armed forces.
As career military professionals, we believe there is no higher honor than paying homage to the men and women who died fighting to preserve the many freedoms we enjoy today.
Over the course of the holiday weekend, our thoughts seldom stray from the families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. We honor them by celebrating life with friends and family in a country that is free from oppression and where the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental right afforded to each and every American.
As a travel club softball coach, for years Memorial Day has been synonymous with a long weekend of softball. When we aren’t chasing a PGF National Berth via one of the many qualifiers, the Memorial Day tournament served to officially kick-off the travel ball season.
Unfortunately, this year the Coronavirus has made playing competitive softball virtually impossible. Thus, for the first time in decades our California Breeze - Birch team has to settle for intra-squad scrimmages to celebrate Memorial Day.
Hopefully by this time next year, the world will have overcome the Coronavirus and we will be able to celebrate Memorial Day as usual, with remembrance of our fallen heroes and with plenty of softball and fellowship with friends and family.
--- Javier Castro, Director of Operations at Sacramento State Softball and former Marine; his daughter, Jayla, is a 2021 commit to UCLA
Memorial Day to me is more than a just a three-day weekend or an excuse for a cookout with friends.
It is a day to honor those who have sacrificed the most for their country.
I have grown up on military bases so I have seen the men in their dress blues going to a house to deliver the news.
My parents, especially my father, have lost close friends, that is why Memorial Day is so important. We recognize those service members we have lost and remember the importance of all they have done for us.
--- Claire Ginder, 2020 graduate and Furman signee; father, Chad, is in the Marine Corps.
On Memorial Day weekend, I am usually playing in a tournament and looking forward to summer trips or going on our annual family Kayak trip when we lived around Oklahoma.But this year, while I am still stuck in a very restricted area in California things are very different.
I can’t play in tournaments or even practice with my team. Online school since March is still going on and I have not seen my friends except on Zoom and I am stuck at my house. The daily hikes, tee work, pitching into a net help but not the same. I have felt the frustrations of my freedoms taken away.
Not to downplay other families’ losses from COVID but this is a first deep test to my morals, liberties and faith. This is what American soldiers both men and women fought for and died for: our Freedom.
Memorial Day is to honor those who have fallen protecting our freedoms, or protecting other civilians from oppressed countries from dictators, genocide, and/or hatred towards our country.
Many countries we have fought in the past, did not give basic rights and freedoms which we take for granted in the US. Can you imagine your entire life like this? For me it has only been since March 16 and still going on.
We need to take a minute this weekend to remember those who fought, defended and died in what they believe. We are lucky that we are aware of these freedoms which we are trying to get back to. With our country fighting among each other on what’s best course of action, I am not going to try and understand it all- but what I do realize this year is this: if you are able to play softball, go out to a restaurant or see your friends, be grateful.
Those freedoms were taken away due to a crisis similar to an attack we read about in our US history. Knowing what those freedoms are and having them is due to the men and women of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines fighting and defending them. Thank you for their ultimate sacrifice. Happy Memorial Day and Play Ball!
-- Jordyn Stuessy, daughter of Captain Kevin Stuessy, United States Air Force (stationed in California but reassigned to Texas for later this year)
The United Service Organizations (“USO”) is the nation's leading charitable organization in serving active-duty service members and military families.
Here are some articles we recommend from the USO to better help us appreciate this day:
Each year, Memorial Day weekend is set aside for Americans to honor the fallen — those service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Pictured here, a Marine plays "Taps" during a sunset memorial. (DoD released) pic.twitter.com/yrNPtla0HL
Each year, Memorial Day weekend is set aside for Americans to honor the fallen — those service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Pictured here, a Marine plays "Taps" during a sunset memorial. (DoD released) pic.twitter.com/yrNPtla0HL— USO (@the_USO) May 24, 2020
COVID-19 will change how we honor the fallen this Memorial Day weekend, but there are still ways to show respect for those service members who made the ultimate sacrifice and maintain #socialdistance https://t.co/EtdYaLEAHV pic.twitter.com/6UcrCKTix4
COVID-19 will change how we honor the fallen this Memorial Day weekend, but there are still ways to show respect for those service members who made the ultimate sacrifice and maintain #socialdistance https://t.co/EtdYaLEAHV pic.twitter.com/6UcrCKTix4— USO (@the_USO) May 22, 2020