Tragic-stricken nation finds solace through baseball

Tragedy struck Virginia Tech University this past week. The weight of the situation tore at the country’s heartstrings this week as families and distant friends mourned for those gunned down, Monday.Students donned shirts of maroon and gold and anxiously awaited the latest breaking coverage in the investigations. Families called loved ones back east, and, yet again, baseball became the rock for a nation in a time of crisis.

Perhaps I am using my editorial power to brag about baseball, but, in the past week, attention has gone from the Jackie Robinson celebrations on Sunday to a time of bowed heads in stadiums nationwide out of respect to those in the VT Massacre.

Leading the way were members of the Washington Nationals who wore Virginia Tech hats with pride Tuesday night. Though not all the hats were matching, the team members were on the field helping to unify a university and nation that has been pressed to find a reason to smile this week.

In the shadow of Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombings and today’s eighth anniversary of the Columbine shooting, the carnage of Blacksburg, Va., opened wounds of a nation trying to bury these memories.

Baseball has stood strong through two world wars, September 11 and now this. The game has not stopped, and it gives the country a reason to smile.

Some ballplayers were hit close to home with the tragedy, such as David Wright, third baseman for the New York Mets. His brother is an engineering major at Virginia Tech. Luckily, Stephen Wright was alive, but 33 other students and faculty members were not so fortunate.

Baseball is standing strong.

Heads bowed in silence, caps showing Hokie pride and one sport working to keep a nation’s heart aglow during dark times.