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The Big Blue Daily Mail -- News for Kentucky Wildcat fans, Memorial Day 2009 Edition

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Memorial Day (Photo by Adam Skoczylas).
Memorial Day (Photo by Adam Skoczylas).

Today is the day we remember those we lost while serving our country in our military.  I think a word or two about that is in order.

One of the songs I like best about our men and women in uniform is American Soldier by Toby Keith.  This is my favorite part:

And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price,
I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice,
Oh, and I don't want to die for you,
But if dying's asked of me,
I'll bear that cross with honor,
'Cause freedom don't come free.

Freedom don't come free.  Truer words have never been remembered in song.  Kind of gets you "right there," doesn't it?  Well, it does me, anyway.

I don't want to talk about wars, or the politics of wars, or the morality of conflicts.  Matthew 24:6 and 7 remind us, in the words of Jesus, that, "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom."  And it is so.  As regrettable as it is, war is part of our existence, at least so far.

Against this backdrop, we remember our lost men and women.  They placed themselves in harm's way to ensure that our way of life could continue.  None of them wanted to die.  None of them wanted to be heroes.  All of them had lives, mothers, fathers, children, and more.  But their country called on them to defend our autonomy, our cherished values, and they answered that call.  Nobody joins the armed forces believing they will lose their lives, but those who have served know that this is always a possibility.  Death is rarely considered in terms of the individual, but rather collectively terms of assets, and combat outcomes -- terms which often remove the humanity from the act of conflict and render it an exercise in statistics.

Today we throw away the statistics and remember the people they represent -- not the company that was lost, but the men and women thereof.  Not the number of planes shot down, but the pilots who did not return to their loved ones.  Today we stand, shoulder to shoulder, with those who's loved ones were called upon to bear that cross, the cross of the ultimate sacrifice, with honor.

So I propose this toast to our lost defenders:

A toast to our absent sons and daughters who died defending America.  Your lives will never be forgotten.  May God give you the peace of knowing that because of your honorable sacrifice, your families and friends will have the freedom and way of life that you held so dear.

And now, for the news:


UK Basketball News

  • An interview with Jodie Meeks that you will certainly want to hear.  I meant to post this yesterday, but somehow, I omitted it.
  • Hilarious Adolph Rupp quotes.  A must-read.  Hat tip:  True Blue Kentucky.
  • This is funny.  Just forget you are a Kentucky fan and laugh.  I just love the name of that blog.
  • Another article about Calipari's recruiting class.  I find myself laughing at these, "It's good for the SEC when Kentucky is strong."  I actually think the SEC coaches, particularly at Florida and Tennessee, are anything but happy about what is happening at UK.
  • Will Barton has spoken highly of UK recently, and he was laying the wood to AAU foes the other day.
  • More recruiting news, featuring Will Barton and Brandon Knight.
  • Still more Barton, and some Harrison Barnes, and still more here, where it seems that Bill Self and John Calipari will be going head-to-head over a number of players.
  • Even more recruiting, this time from the Bob Gibbons tournament.
  • Danny Jett wants to bring back the UKIT.  I don't have a problem with that, it would recall the days when UK was truly a feared national power, something we haven't been for the last four years.
  • Straitpinkie looks at the busy Memorial Day weekend as far as sports news is concerned.
  • Matt's blog (not Matt Jones) looks at five great things about UK basketball.
  • John Wilner says that Kansas is the team to beat, and takes a few gratuitous shots at UK in obvious jest.  We'll see less and less of this if Calipari delivers on the promise implicit in what he has done so far.

UK Football News

  • Team Speed Kills takes up the Jarmon question, and quotes A Sea of Blue.
  • UK's offensive line is the most experienced in the SEC.  I hope that translates into, "one of the best."

Other UK Sports News

NCAA Sports News

  • Many former all-SEC players have had some difficulty making it in the Association.  Thanks to an astute reader for emailing me this article.
  • Miami blue.
  • Mike Slive does not support a football playoff "for a number of reasons."
  • Jim Beilein is head of the new NCAA ethics committee.  I can hardly wait for the pronouncements to begin.
  • John Clay's SEC links for today.
  • Latavious Williams is ready to announce his college choice.  This is another really good player who is still available, and those who lamented John Wall's slow decision would pull out all their hair with Williams.
  • Evaluating the mechanics of Big Ten quarterbacks.  Interesting stuff.
  • LSU wins the SEC baseball tournament.
  • A look at some coaching succession plans.

Other News of Interest

  • A class action suit where college football players are collectively suing EA sports for compensation for using their digital semi-likenesses on games.  I have no comment on this.
  • The state of basketball in North Carolina is pronounced as, "Good," by the Charlotte Observer.  Glad to hear it.  I suppose Carolina won't mind if we raid their state again like we did with John Wall.  Oh, schadenfreude, thou art a sweet thing ...