The Constitutional Right to be A Prick

Posted: March 2, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

I enjoyed myself last night with family at a local AHL hockey game between the home team, Texas Stars against the Abbotsford Heat. (My apologies for those who read my Facebook profile as I had mistaken the team to be from “Abbotsville.”)

I did not realize that the visiting team was from Canada, until it was time for the singing of the National Anthem. First was the Canadian anthem. I had never been to a sporting event before where it had been sung. It was a nice experience. I felt that the choral group performing did a nice job.

Then came Star-Spangled Banner. It started wonderfully. Until they had reached the phrase, “Whose broad stripes and bright stars“. The crowd over 5,000 people literally shouted the word “STARS!!!” when it came up.

What in the world? What were these people thinking? Aren’t you standing up with your attention towards the flag, as you should have learned it in school?

Because the word “stars” appears twice in the verse that is commonly sung, the crowd shouted it twice as well. As I was standing there repulsed, I did hear giggling after the first shouting of the word.

This bothered me. So I went searching to see if there was any specific rules or terms of etiquette with regards to observing the National Anthem. Most of what I had found was placing your hand over your heart. You also observe by taking off your hat and stand at attention and facing the flag. You don’t talk on your cell phone, you don’t chew gum, and you don’t move from where you are standing.

But what about shouting out during the performance of the National Anthem?

Seems as if this battle is not a new one. During the performance of the National Anthem before a game of the Dallas Stars of the NHL, it happens there as well. Screaming at the top of their lungs “STARS!” whenever it is sung.

Also, during the performance of the National Anthem at the games of the Baltimore Orioles, they shout out the word “O!”… as in “O say can you see“, and what not. Mainly these incidents have utter disrespect for the nation has been going on for years, so this is not the first time anyone has complained about it. Francis Scott Key must be vomitting his own bone dust in his grave each time this occurs.

I have read both sides of this. Those who are disturbed and appalled by it, and those who have no personal problems with it. They say that its only a way to keep the crowd’s enthusiasm for their team.

This particular post has to deal with the opinion that this kind of behavior from people is terrible and it shouldn’t be allowed to be happening anywhere in this country at any time because it is truly an outrage. This country is too valuable for its citizens to be taken advantage of in the name of disrespect towards those whose hearts are on fire with pride, love, and patriotism.

Honestly though, “disgusting” is not a strong enough word to describe this behavior. This country was in fact, made for you and me. But it was not made for it to be trampled on by its own citizens. I personally believe that if they would have done something similar during the Canadian National Anthem, people would have become unglued and there would have been chaos to the extent that it would have been all over the Internet. But why do this to your own country?

This was my fourth Texas Stars hockey game that I have attended. The first game that I went to, this did not happen. From that point on, things changed and the crowd was shouting.

What really is disheartening to me is that each time I have attended, the game announcer has always brought the crowd’s attention to the presence of the military being present at the games. Whether currently serving or retired. And then this happens.

And another point to bring is that I do not think that the crowd is taking into consideration the person or persons who are performing. What about their feelings as they are doing their best to proudly present themselves and their country during a performance piece which has been deemed the most difficult song to sing? For myself, I performed it three times when I was in high school. I did it by myself and I performed it A Capella. Had this happened to me while I was performing, it would’ve ended right at the time the people would’ve shouted. Mainly for the reasons that I was nervous enough to perform, and the sudden eruption of shouting voices would’ve distracted me and caused me to perform with errors. Which in turn would have caused a lot of embarrassment for me and I would have been unable to finish.

Instead, it seems as if the people of this country is just going to do whatever it wants to do, and then hide behind the First Amendment for their actions. But I am not going to get into a debate over Constitutional Law.

Members of my own family have fought and served in this nation’s military. After the National Anthems were finished, I looked at members of my family who were sitting next to me, and their shocked faces said it all. I spoke to a man who had served in the U.S. Army this afternoon. He was an officer in the military and he has attended previous Texas Stars hockey games with me in the past, so he has witnessed this horrible incident before. He said, “Many others have bled and died for this country, to provide these people the privilege to be doing shit that is totally disrespectful.”

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