A lot has happened throughout the world since I last picked up this pen to jot down some thoughts. Some have been good happenings but others have not. As the world is riveted with the activities of the Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia, they saw perhaps one of the most exciting events when TJ Oshie got the US team on the road to gold when he scored on four of six shots in a shootout to lead the US hockey team to a thrilling win over the host Russians. Each time there was a challenge, this St. Louis Blues player from Warroad, Minn. answered the call. When the winning goal went in, this young man handled it well. He immediately acknowledged teammate and goalie Jonathan Quick for making key stops when needed. Afterwards, as the world places athletic feats on a higher pedestal, this modest young man responded to the question of being a hero. He said he was not a hero, heroes wear ‘camo.’
Later in the day on a more local level, the area was stunned upon hearing of domestic assaults in neighboring Warren County. A husband stabbed two women to death and critically wounded his estranged wife and a young boy. Days later, the young, brave boy succumbed to his wounds. His action of protecting his mother puts him in the category of a ‘hero.’ The other two women paid with their lives while helping another in a tough journey in life. Let’s put them in the ‘hero’ category as well.
This tragedy was followed days later with another senseless, unexplained tragedy when a middle school football coach and in-school suspension moderator, abducted a 10-year old girl in Springfield and shortly thereafter, was charged in her death. He was found later in his pickup at his residence with duct tape in his hands and when authorities went inside the home, they found the girl deceased. A neighbor attempted to intervene near the abduction but lost the man and his pickup in traffic. What made this man snap and commit such a crime is still just conjecture as he is not cooperating with the investigation. He didn’t have such serious incidents in his past. Being around children the last decade and to suddenly carry out this act against one hopefully will not be a mystery much longer.
The world events continue to smolder with Syria and now Ukraine seeing violence and deaths in bloody civil conflicts.
For area basketball fans, the rise of the St. Louis University Billikens basketball team into the Top Ten in the NCAA rankings for the first time in 49 years and the beginning of another Cardinal baseball season makes a yearning for the end of this winter and the coming of spring. People are counting down to March 9 when Daylight Saving time returns, giving us more light in each day.
Bickering and fighting, on a different level, continues in our nation’s capitol. I guess they will continue to put this country on ‘cruise control’ until November elections. God I hope we can tread water until then. American people want, expect and deserve more.
By Bob Simmons