If you’ve ever seen someone in a military uniform, you probably noticed those little pieces of ribbon over their left pocket. Tradition states Napoleon was the first one to award his soldiers with citations and ribbons in this manner. Some services are more generous in handing out decorations; I seem to remember someone telling me the USMC was the most stingy, the USN second-most. And like any reward policy, sometimes sailors are overlooked, and someone perhaps less deserving gets the recognition.
But still we as leaders try to get it right, and one of the more pleasant duties I’ve had in my naval career is to recommend someone for an award, draft the write-up, and be present when it was conferred on one of my guys. All those feelings returned when I read the news of Stan Musial winning the Presidential Medal of Freedom. We got it right.
Bernie Miklasz wrote a great article today about this award and it’s meaning to Cardinal Nation. I couldn’t let the moment go without posting something – after all, this site is named for Mr. Musial – even if it just directs you to Miklasz’s article.
I hope one of the St Louis local stations broadcasts the ceremony live for Cardinal Nation to see. For those of us in the Diaspora I hope CSPAN will carry. Because we all would like to be there, to cheer lustily, to laugh with joy, to shed a tear of thanks, especially those of us too young to have done it in 1963.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom recognizes Great Americans. Stan Musial is a Great American. Nice the two will finally meet.