- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 19, 2008


Noble: The family of fallen Utah soldier Sgt. Nathan Barnes for their unbelievable donation to Iraqi children.

The most difficult part of selecting this week’s Noble was choosing just one, for many people came together to honor the life of Sgt. Barnes, who was killed in Rushdi Mullah, Iraq, in July. In his e-mails and letters to his family in American Fork, Sgt. Barnes talked often about the Iraqi children and how he wanted to help them and others in Third World countries. And so, after he passed away, his family asked for donations instead of flowers and wound up with a 40-foot-long shipping container filled to the brim with everything from clothing to toys to medical kits to wheelchairs. The container was then sent to Operation Give, an Iraqi aid organization in Salt Lake City, which then shipped it to Iraq.

On top of it all, Sgt. Barnes’ parents, Donna and Kevin, wouldn’t take credit for the project: RoseAnn Gunther, they insist, deserves praise, too. It turns out that Miss Gunther, another American Fork resident, has run an unnamed grass-roots community group for years and was a driving force in the donation fund.

Sgt. Barnes give his life to protect his country, his family and community; then his family and community turned around and sent an amazing donation to the very place he was killed. If that doesn’t spell “humanitarian,” nothing does.

For their heart-warming philanthropy for the Iraqis, the family of Sgt. Nathan Barnes, and others, are the Nobles of the week.

Knave: Gino Castignoli, the Yankee Stadium construction worker who buried a Red Sox jersey in the concrete of the new stadium.

Last weekend, the New York Post reported that a construction worker hid a Red Sox shirt in the foundation of Yankee stadium. The construction team spent about five hours and $50,000 drilling until they located the David Ortiz jersey in a service corridor and removed it on Sunday.

It may seem like a harmless prank, and for all intents and purposes that’s what it was. But as a hired worker building the infrastructure of what would eventually hold tens of thousands of people, Mr. Castignoli should have put aside his team preferences and behaved like an adult. A jersey in the foundation of the stadium probably wouldn’t have caused structural damage, but the point is that interfering with the construction was dangerous and stupid.

Mr. Castignoli was fired, of course, and may now face criminal charges. Worse, he doesn’t show any remorse for his actions, calling the response from the team “typical Yankees,” who, by the way, made the right move by getting rid of the jersey and Mr. Castignoli. Unfortunately, they had to waste time and money reversing a childish mistake.

For his ridiculous stunt at Yankee Stadium, Gino Castignoli is the Knave of the week.

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