When the Terrorists’ piloted planes hit the Twin Towers, all America was shocked and paralyzed. American air space was closed and our normal lives came to a complete standstill. The Commissioner suspended the baseball season for a full week.

“Where will they hit next?” we wondered. “Do we dare go out?” Like the majority of patriotic Americans, after the first few days my wife and I were determined not to let the Terrorists win. And so, when Minute Maid Park reopened, we were sitting in our regular seats in time for the first pitch. Suddenly a live image appeared on the big screen. George and Barbara in their customary seats behind home plate.

George Herbert Walker Bush. 41st President of the United States. The man who sent the troops to liberate Kuwait. The father of the sitting President. A very desirable “target” for the bad guys. A war hero. A patriot. The former pitcher for the Yale Bulldogs. HE would not be cowed or deterred.

His courageous presence brought the crowd to its feet. His confidence and determination buoyed ours. And from that time I became, once again, “Captain Vickery.”

As I sit here today, watching the men in uniform carry his flag draped coffin up the Capitol steps, that silly little memory pervades my thoughts, and I am thankful, all over again, for this great but humble man. America has lost a true treasure.

– Andy Vickery