Have you ever been so "shocked and in awe" that it took you three (3) verses of the National Anthem to recognize the Star Spangled Banner? Remember the shock and awe scenario when the United States invaded Iraq? That is what I personally experiences at a local elementary school on May 25.
A young kindergartner stood in front of the crowd and dedicated the National Anthem to the local National Guardsmen who have recently returned from Iraq. No one stood up. I went into panic mode and searched my mind repeatedly and studied the words and listened to the tune. Yes, it is the Star Spangled Banner. I had finally figured it out at the end of the song that this was America's National Anthem and no one stood. At the conclusion of this beautiful, patriotic and moving song I immediately told my 5 year old granddaughter to stand up and she and I stood and applauded. Still, no one else stood.
I was born to goodly parents and raised in Price. My father had enlisted and fought vigilantly and bravely in World War II in the Navy Seabees which ultimately cost him his life. He did this to protect our freedom, privilege and opportunity to stand and put our right hand over our heart while this song was being sung. He even lived in Elmo and Cleveland during his young life and still no one stood up as the National Anthem was sung that day.
I have traveled, lived and worked all over many parts of this global environment in which we now live. I have always been so relieved and thankful to once again step foot on good old American soil and have a hot dog. What's more American than hot dogs?
I am a retired telecommunications engineer and was living in Plano, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, and the telecom corridor of the US. I had three pending fiber optic jobs being installed next door to the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan the day the terrorist crashed into those buildings. My friends, my installers, many crew, were face to face with the terror and we worked 24/7 to reinstate the data circuits to Wall Street as well as many others.
And still, no one stood that day. Dumbstruck? Appalled? Shocked? In awe at the ignorance or disrespect of our National Anthem being sung that day? Yes.
What about the teachers, parents and siblings of the elementary age children? There were plenty there. Why didn't someone stand up? Why didn't someone remind us to stand? Do we know in our hearts and minds that we need to stand up and pay respect while our National Anthem is being sung? Do we need to be told to stand up?
I would just like to remind each of us to please be respectful and stand up and pay our respects to our flag, our country, our freedom, and to those brave men and women who may still be sacrificing and laying down their own lives to protect our freedoms to this day.