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One Man's Pride

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The other day, my grandfather and I were at a baseball game. After the introduction of the two opposing teams, the announcer’s voice boomed out to “Please rise and remove your hat for the National Anthem”. Personally, the singing of the national anthem is one of my favorite aspects of baseball games; everyone standing, the people next to me softly singing along, everyone’s eyes on the United States flag on the far side of the stadium. Today though, my eye was drawn to the elderly man sitting in front of my grandfather and I; he stood, straight and proud, and sang the anthem with a fervor and enthusiasm that was lacking in the people surrounding us. As the last notes of the national anthem died out across the stadium and the crowd cheered before kicking back to enjoy the game, my grandfather leaned over and tapped the other man on the back. “That was inspiring”, my grandfather said. “I always love it when people sing with the anthem and show their love for our nation”. The man smiled enthusiastically and proclaimed “Every time I hear that song, I get chills. I will always stand and sing because I am proud of my country!”.

While I may not always agree with the action of the politicians elected to represent our nation, I will always love and respect my country. I find it entirely disrespectful when people don’t stand for the anthem, or more commonly in school, do not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. Today, July 4th, I hope that people remember what that flag stands for and represents. Yet, more importantly, I implore people to remember what protects our nation and that flag; our soldiers, who make an astounding number of sacrifices to defend our nation. To me, that is was the flag represents; the courage and bravery our military exhibits in order to defend and protect our country. And that’s why I will always stand for the anthem and for the Pledge of Allegiance. Today, on July 4th, a day of great patriotism, I implore our nation to remember what this day truly represents; it isn’t about BBQs, the lake, or fireworks, but about our nation’s independence. The same independence our military defends. So the next time the anthem booms across that baseball stadium, you can bet that I’ll be one of the people singing the loudest.



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