Have a safe and happy Memorial Day and remember why we remember.

So many have given so much in our history to fight the battle around the world. Many never came home; some came home, but not nearly whole. All who came home were changed forever.

Baseball has a legacy of those professional players who left the game to fight, particularly in World War II.

There are a number of books worthy of scanning for remembering sake and a pretty good list can be found at Baseballinwartime.com.

There is no official number on how many from MLB went into the service in WWII, nor is there a definitive count on those who died.

The best estimates, and they are heavily researched numbers, show some 500 went into the service and 127 died.

Many of the game’s great names saw time in uniform, including Johnny Pesky, Joe DiMaggio, Red Schoendienst, Phil Rizzuto, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Hank Greenberg, Yogi Berra, Hoyt Wilhelm, Warren Spahn and many more.

While those names are often cited, they take no greater place in serving than the millions of Americans who did not have the public stature, but whose sacrifice is remembered this holiday, and every day.

The naming of the athletes who served hopefully leads Americans to remember all the monumental sacrifices made.

Bob Feller is certainly one who remembers. While he will talk about his own service, there is always the attendant discussion of those with whom he served.

A man of great independence and strength, the mention and remembering by him of his fellow service members always brings a pause to his voice and a look in his eyes that takes him to another place and time.

Unfortunately, there is far too much false patriotism everywhere today, including at ball parks where some clubs wrap themselves in the flag with 7th inning versions of God Bless America. It seems to ingratiate the team to emotional fans rather than to really honor those who served.

There is a very easy way for every fan at every game to remember all who served in a dignified and personal way.

I always quietly stand in the booth for the National Anthem; no matter that I hear it everyday.

My father served in the Army in World War II, the Battle of the Bulge, the retaking of Paris and then was put on a ship to fight in the Pacific.

I remember him each time the Anthem is played, hopefully honoring him and those with whom he served.

He would have found that far more respectful and meaningful than the gaudy flag wrapping of owners who want to prance their “patriotism.”

Remember them all this Memorial Day in whatever way you find respectful.