Service on Meet the Press

Posted by Zach Maurin on July 21, 2009

Last Sunday, Meet the Press host David Gregory did something really great: he closed with a personal story about how proud he was to have his son at the baseball all-star game to see community service heroes being honored.  When I

watched this Sunday morning on TV it was clear that Mr. Gregory was truly thrilled that Major League Baseball did this and the example it sets for his son.  Service is a powerful force even watching from the stands.

Here is the transcript of what he said:

MR. GREGORY:  All right.  I want to end here, we just got a couple minutes left, on more of a personal note here.  I had a great honor this week, I took my son to the All-Star Game in St.  Louis.  We had a terrific time.  And I thought baseball did something really great, and we have some video of it. Before the game they had the All-Stars Among Us, people who engage in community service, who are giving to other people.  They lined up there, all the presidents’ taped messages, and then look at this:  all the players descended on them during a round of applause to shake their hand and pay tribute to them.  And, you know, as a dad sitting in the stands I thought, you know what, I love–this is what’s wholesome about baseball.

And it’s a lot easier, Paul, than having to answer my, my son’s questions about who has taken steroids and who hasn’t.  That’s tough.

MR. GIGOT:  No, it was a great moment for, for, for professional sports and it, you know, it gives the lie to the fact that what we sometimes think, which is that all of these athletes are spoiled and wealthy and all–have all of these problems, most of them are actually solid citizens.  And it’s a great lesson for kids because, as we know, they’re all role models.

MR. GREGORY:  Right.  And it is–again, you’ve got these moments where you think about where can you take your children?  You know, this was an area where all the presidents contributed, all the former presidents, and President Obama threw out that first pitch.  A little shaky, but nevertheless, he was there.

MS. NORRIS:  He was proud of it.

MR. GIGOT:  He got it there.

MR. GREGORY:  He got it there.  He got it there.  That was the point.  But these do become important moments, again, balancing these influences for our children.

MS. NORRIS:  It–you know, the symbolism there was, I thought, very, very striking, because, you know, our sons and our daughters…

MR. GREGORY:  Right.

MS. NORRIS:  …worship the people that play on the field and on the court. And when you can introduce them to real role models and people who are actually serving their community–you know, much was made of community service…

MR. GREGORY:  Right.

MS. NORRIS:  …and not in a good way, during the campaign.

MR. GREGORY:  Right.

MS. NORRIS:  I think we saw a very different side of it there.

MR. GREGORY:  This helps.  All right, we’re going to leave it there.  Thank you all very much.

You can watch the video tribute to the” All-Stars Among Us” by all of the living US Presidents here.

The other guests are Paul Gigot from the Wall Street Journal and Michelle Norris from NPR.


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