April 25th 1976

by Steve on April 25, 2006

Today is the 30th anniversary of a truly patriotic and spontaneous act. Rick Monday, who at the time was an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs, snatched the American flag from some misguided protestors who had sprinted onto the field during a Cubs/Dodgers game with intent to burn it. Michele’s post from this morning inspired me to dig a little deeper and research an incident that I’m old enough to remember and also old enough to have forgotten. This simple act sealed Rick’s place in the American psyche. An accomplished ball player and Marine (once a Marine always a Marine or so several Marines have told me) he is best remembered for his instinctive act of patriotism. And so he should be.

From a 1998 Herald article by Larry Henry:

…Monday recognized that were he to do the same thing today, he might be arrested for violating someone else’s rights.

“But to hell with them,” he said. “They can come and lock me up right now because if they did it again, I’d do the same thing.”

In my humble opinion we need more people like Rick Monday who are willing to stand up and do the right thing. As for the rights of the protestors, these two and all those that followed, I will certainly not violate their right to live somewhere else if they feel so inclined. The image below needs no further explanation so I’ll close with a simple “Thank you, Rick.”

AP Photo/Los Angeles Herald Examiner, James Roark

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