Tonight was a real blessing for me. I attended the 2015 Diplomatic Reception and Dinner Commemorating the Founding of the German American Heritage Society of Saint Louis. There, I was honored to receive the organization’s Stemmler-Hecker Founder’s Award for my book Beer, Brats, and Baseball: St. Louis Germans and for my work to provide recognition for the former German names of six St. Louis streets that were renamed during World War I. The award meant a lot to me. I accepted it in the name of my great-great grandfather, Louis Charles Merkel I, and all German immigrants to St. Louis.