With Memorial Day weekend here, let us take a moment to remember one of our nation’s finest traditions.
Before most sporting events, it’s customary to stand for the playing of our National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.” I’m sure you have done it dozens of times and witnessed it even more on national television.
It has been performed almost every way imaginable. Performers have played it on many different instruments including the trumpet, piano, guitar and violin. Most of the time it’s sung solo, but entire choirs have blasted these melodies into the crowd.
Everyone has a favorite National Anthem moment. Whitney Houston’s version before Super Bowl XXV in 1991 ranks high on the list. Jimi Hendrix played the National Anthem on his guitar at the Woodstock Festival in 1969.
But not every National Anthem has been a home run. Who could forget Roseanne Barr screeching the lyrics before a San Diego Padres game and spitting at the end. The fans booed and threw objects onto the field.
While Barr’s botched song was planned, other flops were not. In 1993, Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis sang off-key, got lost and was just plain bad.
For many, the playing of the National Anthem is a solemn moment to reflect on loved ones lost defending our great nation. It’s also a time to remind yourself about this great country and what it means to be free.
I bring this up this weekend, because it is a very important tradition that takes place before most sporting events. It’s great to see the high school, college and youth athletes stand in respect of the flag and what it stands for.
I’m not a confrontational person, but several years back at the baseball tournament in Cooperstown, New York, some kid loudly and sarcastically screamed the lyrics and laughed behind myself and my family. It made me sick to my stomach. I had to turn and let him have it. I feel that most Americans would have done the same thing.
So as we celebrate Memorial Day and all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country, lets stand tall and remember why it is so important to respect the flag each time the National Anthem is played.
If you’re looking for a way to commemorate Memorial Day, there are many wreath laying ceremonies and celebrations of the sacrifices made by our nation’s veterans.