If one watched the news on Monday, most of the talk was about the health care debate, the California wildfires and a comic book merger. However a story that shouldnt be lost in the shuffle is that of the life of a true American hero, Marine Corp Sgt Bill Cahir. Sgt Cahir was buried on Monday in Arlington National Cemetary after being killed in battle in Afghanistan. Cahir was 34 years old and found himself in Afghanistan on his third tour of duty as part of the Marine Reserves. After graduating college, Cahir worked in Washington DC for Senator Ted Kennedy for a time, before returning home to Pennsylvania to become a newspaper reporter. After 9/11, Cahir felt a sense of patriotic duty and service that led him to leave his comfortable life at the age of 34 and join the Marine Reserves. He spent two tours of duty in Iraq, often in Fallujah, one of the most dangerous spots of the entire region. While there, his age and personality made him a natural leader and he was beloved by his fellow Marines.
After two tours of duty, he returned to Pennsylvania and attempted to continue his life of public service by running for Congress in his home district. He lost the primary, but soon thereafter was called up for another tour by the Marines. Due to his time of service, he could have requested a specific location that would not be considered a hot spot, but instead asked to be sent to Afghanistan because “this is what I signed up to do.” He was killed August 13 by enemy fire in Afghanistan, just a week before that country’s elections. While his body was in transit home, his wife received a handwritten letter by Ted Kennedy extending his condolences to his former staffer. Kennedy died just a few days after writing the letter and it is believed to be his last known writing. Cahir was buried today, leaving behind a wife pregnant with twins, who will never know personally their heroic father.
At his funeral, his brother offered this eulogy, which I find powerful:
I won’t offer any anecdotes,” he said, “but rather a quote that I think summarized his life from Ben Franklin: ‘If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are gone, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.’ My view is that my brother did both.”
In a time when political debates can take the most personal of tones and cynicism is often high, it bears remembering individuals like Sgt Bill Cahir, who represent the best of America. May he rest in peace and our prayers are with his family and children.
You can read more of Cahir’s story here
(1): Somewhat of a busy day in UK land today as Rich Brooks held his first weekly press conference of the season. He says that the main reason he is excited about the team this year is that is has the most speed of any team he has had while at UK. As those of us that have watched SEC football can surely attest, speed has always been a bit of an issue for UK teams and Brooks’ happiness with the speed and athleticism of the team is good to hear. He says that he is confident going into the season but that a lot of guys now have to step up and perform. Not least of those is Mike Hartline, who now starts year two with a lot of pressure and some expectation. Everyone has raved all summer on Hartline…now we gotta see it.
(2): The depth chart was also released, which made for some interesting viewing. Most surprising to me was to see Russ Bogue at TE and Paul Warford at CB in the starting lineup. Its not that either of those young men are not strong players, but I assumed we would see Drake and Burden at those positions. Still the Warford story especially is very good to see. He spoke today about how close he felt to Brooks and what confidence the Coach showed in giving him another chance to perform at the highest level. With Lindley on the other side, Warford will get picked on. Brooks obviously believes he is the player who is the most solid to be able to handle that attention.
(3): The recruiting world got a little noise today when it came out that Louisville had hired Marquis Teague’s coach as a consultant to the head coach. Whether that means he has the “hide under the table in restaurants” role or not remains to be seen, but the news further confirms what some have believed…mainly that UL is the leader right now for Teague. Some recruiting analysts have gone so far as to suggest that the 2011 star might commit to UL within the next two weeks. Make no mistake about it, Teague is an amazing talent and UK really wants him as part of their class. However Louisville has been in on him for a long time and today’s hire may end up being the final nail in the coffin for other teams and a potential good way for Pitino to deflect some of the attention into something positive.
(4): Midnight Madness tickets go on sale on October 3rd at 7 am, meaning that Ticketmaster better have its server turned off the “KSR” setting at that time. The camping out will surely take place once again as fans try to get into what will be one of the most exciting such events in school history. You can only get two tickets if you are in line and only order 2 if you are online. So be ready for whichever method you are using, because my guess is that it will go super fast.
(5): Here is a great interview from Mike Decoursey with Darius Miller. Definitely worth the read.
We will have the other Blogger entries later today and we get rolling on our Miami (Ohio) preview notes. Stay tuned…and if you want to read a really good story about Woo from behind the scenes, check out the live blog below….it was good….