At the last two Atlanta Thrasher games against the Carolina Hurricanes, I had the respect for the Star Spangled Banner come up. First, it was the game in Raleigh. Sitting in the second row behind the glass, right next to the ‘Canes penalty box as everyone stood for the singing of our National Anthem, I heard a gentleman behind me say, “we aren’t standing for this anthem.” I looked behind me and he had his hand on his, maybe 10 yr old son’s arm, gently encouraging him to remain seated. The father, the mother and the child sat throughout the entire National Anthem.
I will be honest, I was offended. I thought to myself, even if they are from another country, that doesn’t give them the right to sit during the National Anthem. Being honesy, I judged. In a country with more freedoms than any other, I threw a stone…
and proceeded to scream “KNIGHT” at the top of my lungs, surrounded by a sea of red, watching across the ice at the cloud of blue I proudly heard loudly bellowing in tune. My heart soared and I hoped our boys got a little tickle for hearing how many of their fans took the trip to see them play.
Just a week later, I was at the game in Atlanta. Sitting next to me was a retired military gentleman. After the anthem was sang, our Carolina fans shouted their “RED” and Thrasher fans answered back with “KNIGHT”, the gentleman sitting next to me was shaking his head and said “I wish they would stop doing that. It is so disrespectful.” He proceeded to tell me that he faught for our country and risked his life for us. I thanked him over and over, feeling so proud to sit next to such a brave soul. I took his opinion and heard it (and told him I would bring it up on my blog, sorry it has taken so long!)
I have researched it, I have read about it. From message boards across the country to Puck Daddy and Defending Big D, it is a very controversial topic and one that has many opinions in each direction. My own personal opinion? I get a surge of pride every time I witness the entire arena, any arena stand and remove their hats. I get teary eyed no matter who sings “the land of the free” for what THAT means. I get excited when Canadian teams are in town, and proud that my children are very quickly learning all of the words the the Canadian National Anthem.
I have great pride for our country. I have great pride for our flag and everything it stands for. On 9-11, I am proud of every flag that is lowered in remembrance. I honor every moment of silence. I can’t say that, for anyone who has chosen to sacrifice their life for the lives of all others in this country, that it is respectful to them for anyone to try to silence our freedoms faught so hard to maintain.