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Letter to the Editor: Shock and awe in Castle Country



Have you ever been so "shocked and in awe" that it took you three verses of the National Anthem to recognize the "Star Spangled Banner"? Remember the "Shock and awe scenario" when the United States invaded Iraq? That is what I personally experienced at an elementary school in Emery County last May. A young kindergartner stood in front of the crowd and dedicated the national anthem to a local National Guardsman who recently returned from Iraq. No one stood up.

I went into panic mode and searched my mind repeatedly and studied the words and listened to the tune..." Yes, it is the Star Spangled Banner!" I had finally figured it out at the end of the song that this was America's national anthem and no one stood. At the conclusion of this beautiful patriotic and moving song I immediately told my five and a half year old granddaughter to stand up and she and I stood and applauded. Still, no one else stood.

I was born to goodly parents and raised in Carbon County. My father had enlisted and fought vigilantly and bravely in World War II in the Navy Seabees which ultimately cost him his life. He had done this to protect our freedom, privilege and opportunity to stand and put our right hand over our hearts while this song was being sung. He had even lived in Emery County during his young life and still no one stood up as the National Anthem was sung that day.

I have traveled, lived and worked all over many parts of this global environment in which we now live. I have always been so relieved and thankful to once again step foot on good ole' American soil and have a hot dog! "What's more American than hot dogs...?"

I am a retired telecommunications engineer and was living in Plano, Texas on 9-11. I had three pending fiber optic jobs being installed next door to the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan that day. My friends, my installers, my crew were face to face with the terror and we worked 24/7 to reinstate the data circuits to Wall Street as well as many other places. And still no stood up that day.

Dumbstruck? Appalled? Shocked? In awe at the ignorance or disrespect of our national anthem being sung that day? Yes! What about the teachers, the parents, the siblings of the elementary school age children? There were plenty of us there. Why didn't someone stand up? Why didn't someone remind us to stand up? Do we know in our hearts and minds that we need to stand up and pay respect while our national anthem is being sung? Do we even need to be told to stand up?

I would just like to say and remind each of us to please be respectful and stand up and pay our respects to our flag, our country, our freedom, and to those brave men and women, who may be still sacrificing and laying down their own lives to protect our freedoms to do so this day.

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