At America's Freedom Festival patriotic service--held on June 29, 2014 in Provo, UT-- Laura Bush, former First Lady, delivered a moving address of America and patriotism. She recounted the events of her husband throwing the first pitch of the World Series in October 2001, just following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. She spoke about how President Bush needed to step up to the mound to give America strength and show that life and this country will go on. She invited us all to "step up to the mound" and stand up for America's ideals and values.
This poem is that story and invitation to all of America, to step up, stand up, and take an active role in preserving America's founding ideals of faith, family, and freedom.
Step Up to the Mound
(c) 2014 Nathan D. Garlick
The roar of the crowd as heard from below
Is it applause or distain? One never may know.
To throw it too short, they may boo and hiss
To let it bounce off would be a sore miss.
With sweaty palms and the moon shining bright,
He takes his first step under the stadium’s light.
The crowd has a hush, could hear a pin hit the ground,
As this man, all eyes on him, steps up to the mound.
But something’s the matter for him on this day;
“It’s only a pitch, just a game,” you might say.
But more than a game, there’s a country at stake,
And this man, on this day, has decisions to make.
And just as the stars begin to shine overhead,
He steps to the mound, wipes the sweat from his head.
Though it may be a game, it’s a symbol they need
Of a strong, united country, of a land that is free.
So he winds up his pitch, and then lets the ball fly
It soars to the catcher, the crowd stands by.
The sound of the ball in the palm of the mitt
Makes cheers erupt and hearts are lit
With a flame of a hope, of what was could still be
Of a people and land of unmatched opportunity.
The days ahead are more difficult than before;
Big questions, even terrors, knock on our front door.
But no matter the trial, the terror, or threat
That faces this country, we can never forget
That amidst all the jests and the cheers and the crowds
We must take a stand and step up to the mound.