This video is striking to me for a couple of reasons. First, he's absolutely right about Memorial Day and what it is supposed to mean, and it's not camouflaged specialty hats. Second, it reminds me once again of an opportunity lost on the part of the school I love.
In case you didn't watch the entire thing, Olbermann finishes by telling the story of one Jack Lummus, who graduated from Baylor in 1937, played football for the New York Giants, enlisted as a Marine in 1941, and died on Iwo Jima in 1945. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest honor our nation can give a serviceman or woman. He is one of two Baylor alumni to receive that distinction, the other being John R. Kane. Olbermann read Lummus' Medal of Honor citation in its entirety:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as leader of a Rifle Platoon attached to the 2d Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 8 March 1945. Resuming his assault tactics with bold decision after fighting without respite for 2 days and nights, 1st Lt. Lummus slowly advanced his platoon against an enemy deeply entrenched in a network of mutually supporting positions. Suddenly halted by a terrific concentration of hostile fire, he unhesitatingly moved forward of his front lines in an effort to neutralize the Japanese position. Although knocked to the ground when an enemy grenade exploded close by, he immediately recovered himself and, again moving forward despite the intensified barrage, quickly located, attacked, and destroyed the occupied emplacement. Instantly taken under fire by the garrison of a supporting pillbox and further assailed by the slashing fury of hostile rifle fire, he fell under the impact of a second enemy grenade but, courageously disregarding painful shoulder wounds, staunchly continued his heroic 1-man assault and charged the second pillbox, annihilating all the occupants. Subsequently returning to his platoon position, he fearlessly traversed his lines under fire, encouraging his men to advance and directing the fire of supporting tanks against other stubbornly holding Japanese emplacements. Held up again by a devastating barrage, he again moved into , rushed a third heavily fortified installation and killed the defending troops. Determined to crush all resistance, he led his men indomitably, personally attacking foxholes and spider traps with his carbine and systematically reducing the fanatic opposition until, stepping on a land mine, he sustained fatal wounds. By his outstanding valor, skilled tactics, and tenacious perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds, 1st Lt. Lummus had inspired his stouthearted marines to continue the relentless drive northward, thereby contributing materially to the success of his regimental mission. His dauntless leadership and unwavering devotion to duty throughout sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
With all due respect to the McLanes and the wonderful service they have done Baylor and its athletic programs through the years, the money they have given, our new stadium should be named for these two men, one of whom gave that last full measure of devotion Lincoln talked about so poignantly at Gettysburg 151 years ago. It should be Kane-Lummus Memorial Stadium in their honor. It is just about the least we could have possibly done.
That aside, watch the video, anyway.