April 15 is known to most people in the United States as Tax Day. Your income taxes are due to the IRS on this day.
But, for me, and most baseball fans, April 15 has a more important meaning. It’s Jackie Robinson Day. Today, every player and manager on every team in every game wears the exact same uniform number, 42, the number that was Jackie Robinson’s number.
It’s significant because during the other 161 games of a major league baseball season, no one is allowed to wear number 42. Jackie’s number has been retired across every team.
But, on this day, April 15, all of baseball pauses to remember a remarkable man who 72 years ago, in 1947, Jackie took the field in Dodger blue to become the first black man in the modern era to play Major League Baseball.
He wass an amazing man and an amazing athlete. I look forward to April 15 every year to see a reminder of him at every position. He really was that impactful.
But, my excitement today was tempered by the horrible events in Paris. April 15 will also be known as the day that the majestic thousand year old cathedral of Notre Dame burned.
It’s a Paris landmark, and uniquely French, but it’s also more. It’s an international treasure. The cathedral was old when America was new. It’s a Catholic cathedral, but we all felt a connection, regardless of our religion, or even if we weren’t associated with any religion.
The coming days will reveal how extensive the damage is. And, fortunately, no lives were lost. So many times in the past few years our tragedies have involved the inhumanity of man against ourselves.
It doesn’t change the heartwrenching sorrow at seeing one of the world’s most beautiful buildings engulfed in flames.
Already the French president has pledged to rebuild it.
Our prayers for with the French today.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved