Recently I was talking to some friends of mine, all veterans. They were concerned with the name given to the new Mississippi River bridge, Stan Musial Veterans Bridge. They felt that veterans were getting shortchanged by the inclusion of Musial's name on the bridge.
They all respected Musial and the contribution he has made to baseball and the St. Louis community; however, they thought it would have been more appropriate to name a street or a well-known building close to Busch Stadium for Musial.
My friends' comments were that, after all, baseball is a game, played in a sunny stadium before adoring crowds with lots of music, hot dogs and beer. These veterans served their time in hot, dank jungles or snow-filled trenches. The only sounds they heard were the whining of thousands of mosquitoes or the blowing of ice cold wind interrupted by the chattering of machine guns or artillery blasts. They feasted on food they would have not fed their dogs back home. They drank hot water from canteens often tasting of fuel oil.
Musial was well-paid for his playing while these veterans received only a pittance. They well remembered another edifice named the Veterans Bridge which later became the Martin Luther King Bridge and they wonder how long it will be before the new bridge is just called the Stan Musial Bridge.
These veterans are unhappy and I agree with them.