Big-time media do a terrific job every Memorial Day reminding all of us why there is a Memorial Day. While this writer likes to expand its meaning to all who've gone before us, the day is specifically intended to honor men and women in the U.S. military who have given all on behalf of this country. We do indeed honor them.
You may have seen the CBS Sunday Morning story about one Brendan Marrocco, wounded on Easter Sunday 2009 in Iraq.
Brendan lost all four of his limbs, both arms, both legs, when a roadside bomb was launched into his vehicle. His carotid artery was severed, yet was essentially cauterized by the heat of the missile. Still, he died three times, and came back. His friend succumbed.
Brendan is the only soldier to have survived the loss of all four limbs. He's at Walter Reed Hospital, learning how to live without arms or legs.
Brendan was asked if he's the luckiest or unluckiest guy alive. "A little bit of both," he responded.
As the only person among us who might know, Brendan reports it's much more difficult living without arms than legs. He's learning how to walk on prosthetic legs. He's hoping to receive arms through transplant, a new technique. And he's living his life, having found love and a fiancé, Kate Barto, who doesn't feel sorry for him and believes he'll do great things in his life.
So does Brendan. He has the gift of positive outlook, without bitterness, without depression. Think about how hard that life must be, and how easy it would be to give up. Not Brendan Marrocco. A true inspiration.
America's soldiers are not the only people who put their lives on the line every day.
Two years ago Wednesday, Tucson Police Department Officer Erik Hite lost his life to a gunman on the city's east side. That rampage, you may recall, began in a Northwest neighborhood. The case of the accused, David Delich, is yet to be resolved.
Thank a police officer when you get a chance.
One of the weekend's enduring, and further endearing, images came from Phoenix, where the Lakers' Kobe Bryant ended the Suns' chance to play in the NBA Finals with a tight victory Saturday night.
Afterward, in the Suns' locker room, Steve Nash, his torso scratched, his head nearly jaundiced, the result of bruising from the cut to his right eye sustained in the Spurs series, and his broken nose at the head of Lakers' strong safety Derek Fisher (that's a football reference), had a hug with Suns coach Alvin Gentry.
Nash had been crying. His hard work, his self-discipline, his skill and performance had been exhausted, and his team came up just short of its goal.
What a role model. The best performer in your company, the guy who's a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Fame basketball player, gives everything he has even though he's not required to do so. He cares so much about reaching the goal that he's literally willing to shed gallons of sweat, ounces of blood and, in the end, tears toward the greater good. Those of us in the work place can see that talent, alone, won't cut it. We've got to work, we've got to care, we've got to lift up our colleagues and bring out their best, we've got to expend all of our energies.
And when it's done, and the goal is achieved, or not, we can say we did the best we could, and we're looking to the future. The way Nash did Saturday, and impressively so.
Kobe Bryant is a Steve Nash kind of guy. No one works harder. He's a brilliant basketball player, the best in the game (and that includes LeBron), and absolutely lethal when the game is on the line. The Lakers must be considered favorites when they meet the Celtics for the 12th time in the NBA Finals. Lakers in five, it says here.