Please Consider Your Behavior During the National Anthem
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If you’ve been around Organized 31 before, you probably know that I’m a veteran and big on supporting our military, veterans and our country. For those of you who are new, let me quickly give you an idea of where I’m coming from.
I’m a veteran. My husband is currently on active duty. My father is a veteran. My brother is a veteran. Both of my uncles are veterans. 4 of my 5 cousins are veterans. I think you’ve got the idea.
Recently I’ve been attending a bunch of ceremonies and sporting events where the national anthem was played. I observed the behavior of those around me. I feel compelled to speak out and ask you to please consider your behavior during the national anthem.
Behavior During the National Anthem
I’m not questioning your patriotism to our country. I don’t want to debate the current or past actions of our leaders or our citizens with you. I am not judging you or your values. I am simply asking to you to show respect to those who have served and died to give you the opportunity to attend the event you are at when the national anthem is being played. I ask you to purposefully choose to behave in such a way as to show thanks and respect for those who have served and sacrificed for you. Realize that there are people standing near you who have lost loved ones in service to our country and your behavior shows them what you think of that sacrifice. A quick internet search will show you the history and traditions associated with the national anthem, but I’ll summarize what you need to know.
1. Please stand.
2. Please remove your hat. I don’t care if you have hat hair or no hair or a super cool hat that you want everyone to see. Removing your hat is a sign of respect. Please show respect. And please teach your children to remove their hats during the national anthem.
3. Please put down your food, your drink – anything that you don’t have to hold. That includes putting out your cigarette. Personally, I’m fine with you holding a child, but please teach your child to show respect appropriate for their age.
4. Please look around, locate the flag and then turn your body to face it. If the flag is not displayed, turn and face the music.
5. Please place your hand over your heart. You did it in grade school and you are not too old or too cool to do it now. It shows respect for your country, the national anthem and those who have served. If you have a moral, religious or philosophical issue with placing your hand over your heart, please stand at attention. That means do not slouch, shift around, look around or do anything that indicates that you are not showing respect. Those who have served in the military and are not in uniform may salute. Military members in uniform are required to salute. Those wearing a hat should remove it with their right hand and hold it over their heart. While women are not required to remove their hat, removing it shows respect.
6. Please sing along with the words. If you do not know the words, I have included them below. You don’t have to sing loudly, but singing along helps you focus on the history and reason why the national anthem has been chosen to be played.
7. When the line, “the home of the free and the land of the brave” is sung, please don’t cheer like a maniac for no reason. If you have not followed 1 through 6 above, I don’t see why you suddenly feel a huge surge of patriotic fervor. If you have shown respect during our national anthem and do feel the need to express your patriotic fervor, then go right ahead.
8. Please take a moment to say a prayer for those whose service allows you the wonderful experience that you are about to have after the national anthem has finished playing. If you don’t pray, please take a moment to contemplate their sacrifice.
Next time I see you at an event, please stand with me, remove your hat and lets show the rest of them how it’s done!
The Star Spangled Banner
Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.
As a fellow veteran from a military family, thank you so much for posting this!
Jenna, thank you for your service!
Thank you for this. I am also a veteran. I don’t attend many sporting events, but I am always appalled at some of the behavior I see while the anthem is played. I will be sharing this on facebook, hopefully it will be shared further. I have several friends from my time in the Army, some are still active, others have retired.
I’ve always believed respect is earned, not just given. But in the case of our service members, respect should be given freely, as it is earned as soon as the oath of service is taken.
Fara, you said it perfectly that in the case of our service members, respect should be given freely. Thank you for your service!
Hi Susan – Ohhhhh sister, don’t get me started. I love how you very respectfully laid it all out. I cringe at the behaviors I see, and not only the adults that should know better, but also not teaching their children. Thank you for putting this important lesson out there in a way that it is easy to understand. And thank you and your entire family for your service to our great country. Hugs, Holly
Thank you! When I was at a local race in May, the local fire company hung a giant flag from the ladder of a fire truck. It was an amazing sight! However, when they played the National Anthem, I noticed several women near me (not to single them out), talking while the anthem was playing.
I’ll be sharing your post on FB.
Barb, thanks for sharing. Maybe we can make a difference together.
Great reminders! I remember the first time I went to a baseball game after my husband graduated Basic Training. We were almost as excited about the anthem as we were for the entire game as the song had a whole new meaning to us.
Amy, thank for the support and thank you for your and your husband’s service.
Oh for heaven’s sake, AMEN! I was a season ticket holder for the Padres while my husband was serving on an IA deployment to Afghanistan. This means there was no command support, it was just me, going through a deployment, and I thought going to the ballgames would get me out of the house and force me into some fun. With every single game starting with the National Anthem it infuriated me the way people behaved. I never felt sadder for our country than when the Padres played the Toronto Blu Jays. My husband was home and we went to the game together…. in San Diego. They began the game with the Canadian National Anthem and I bet you could hear the Canadians in the crowd singing that thing from miles away! The American National Anthem? I bet you couldn’t hear it a block away. It broke my heart. //End of rant. Thank you for posting this and linking it up in the milspouse blogger monthly link up! Sharing, for sure!
Thanks for your and your husband’s service! I’ve had too many experiences similar to yours recently. I’m with you in my frustration. Hope we can influence a few folks positively.
Wonderfully written, and I whole-heartedly agree with you! Sometimes Americans forget what the National Anthem is all about.
Lauren, thanks for the support.
As a military brat, military spouse, military granddaughter and military niece – THANK YOU. I am sharing this, pinning it and spreading it. I love this piece more than words could even begin to express. – Heather, Life of a Traveling Navy Wife
Heather, thanks for sharing and thank you and your family for your service.