October brings two things to mind: politics and baseball.
One historic Franklinite embodies the best of America’s pastime and national service: Eddie Grant. Eddie played baseball for Franklin High School, Dean Junior College, Harvard College, and—eventually—for Major League Baseball (MLB). He even played in the 1913 World Series.
When America entered the war, Grant answered the call to serve. He embodied courage, aptitude, and leadership in combat, and he was the first MLB player killed in WWI. His name is carved in stone on our Franklin Common.
I was thinking about Eddie on August 30th as I crossed the Common to hear comments from Senator Elizabeth Warren. I was surprised when a large group of protestors, donned in blacked, arrived and began shouting her down. I was outraged when they continued chanting through a moment of silence for Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, the Lawrence Marine killed in Afghanistan.
Some things should be beyond the tired left-right divide in this country. Surely those who have sacrificed everything for this country are first on that list. Maybe those hollering and heckling didn’t hear the call for silence, but that’s just the point. We have an important election coming up in Franklin. There are service-minded candidates running. They are Democrats, Republicans, and unenrolled. I may not agree with them on every policy position, but I’m voting for Democratic, Republican, and independent candidates for town council, school committee, planning board, and clerk. But there are also candidates who were clad in black that day in August—those who would shout down rather than join together in commemorative silence.
It’s October. Let’s root, root, root for the Red Sox. Let’s do our research and intentionally select the candidates we support. Let’s VOTE on or before November 2nd. Let’s elect citizen representatives worthy of the legacy of Franklin’s past leaders—especially Eddie Grant.