Another football season has begun. The Chicago Tribune commented that "Notre Dame annually leads the country in "pomp and circumstance". That may be true but I like to think of it as "tradition". There are so many traditions at Notre Dame. Traditions that reach back hundreds of years and grab each new generation in an all encompassing, warm and embracing bear hug. It makes us feel connected to our past, our present and our future. The Tribune may be saying it tongue in cheek, but the enormous out pouring of love for this college, this community and all of the varied members of it's long line of family is emotionally over whelming. Especially on game weekends.
And Notre Dame does not care one iota if you attended the University or not. We are all Her family. She opens her arms and heart to her alumni and their families as well as those unable to attend college, let alone Notre Dame. My family was one of those "subway" alumni. We followed Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish since I was a young child. One of my father's dreams was to attend a football game in Notre Dame Stadium. He never realized that dream. But his grandson has taken his grandfather's dream to a level my father did not dare imagine. His grandson attends Notre Dame University. His grandson plays for the Fighting Irish.
I like to think of my father looking down with a tear in his eye on Saturday afternoons. The love of a proud grandfather beaming from ear to ear, as my son Steve runs into Notre Dame Stadium and kneels to offer a prayer of gratitude. "Pomp and Circumstance"? So be it. Maybe we need a little pomp and circumstance in our world today. If only to help us to feel connected to something larger than ourselves.
May all our young men and women find a loving community to belong to and share their triumphs as well as their tears on this journey of a life-time. All people, all countries, all religions.....remembering we are truly "One" as children of God.
P.S. Go Irish!