Monday, September 22, 2008

Volunteer Spirit

Last Thursday, Julie at Sydney Eye asked me how the UT Volunteers got their name. She can tell a story in one elegant haiku. Warning: I'm a lot more wordy.
Tennessee Volunteers are much bigger than just a college football team.
Every state in the US has its official nickname. These names reveal something unique and significant about the land, people, or history of the state.  Tennessee is the Volunteer State. According to the Tennessee Blue Book, the state's publication of information about Tennessee, the nickname began during the War of 1812, when thousands of Tennesseans volunteered to serve their country at the request of Governor Blount.  Tennessee volunteers showed exceptional bravery during the Battle of New Orleans. 
Tennesseans have shown that volunteer spirit ever since, in many ways. Community service and helping others in need are a hallmark of the spirit I've found here. The Volunteer Ministry Center downtown, which helps the homeless, is a prime example. 
So, the next time you see the word "Vols," think about all the different ways Tennesseans volunteer to make a positive difference in their world.

9 comments:

Hope said...

I am proud to say I'm Tennessee-born (and raised). Thank you for explaining to all who visit here what our Volunteer name really means. It's something to truly be proud of and hold dear.

Tanya said...

What a great post with the picture. Perfect! Makes me wish I was a Tennesseean! Did I spell that right?! :)

Virginia said...

Great post today. I think we need to do more promoting of all that is good and right in our communities. Lord knows we hear and see enough negative on TV etc.

Julie said...

Ah, thank you. That now makes sense. I found it hard to believe that a football team would call itself The Volunteers. Over here they are called Dragons, Bears, Roosters etc.

The Volunteer is a grand nickname for a State. I should think one to be proud of.

Barbara Rahal said...

ah aha very interesting...fun name for a team!! nice B&W

Leedra said...

This is shown at the Alamo too! The football team got named this because of the wars that preceded it. Good post!

babooshka said...

That is interesting. I have always admired the way you have state nicknames, flowers, flags etc. Not something we do and I've always thought it's such a shame. It's a good one to go by. Ramsey would be "I can't be arsed let someone else do it." Not quite the same ring to it.

Love the guy checking out the place or possibly himself.

Dusty Lens said...

This is quite interesting. Learn something new every day!

Hilda said...

Uh-oh. You made me teary-eyed again.

Beautiful history and legacy, and I'm so glad that Tennesseeans (oof, that's a bit hard for my tongue) continue the tradition. Bless you all!