When the Music Stopped
One of the great experiences one gets from being in the military is a greater appreciation of our country, its flag and the National Anthem. In the past people seemed to remember proper etiquette for when the flag is raised, or lowered and when the National Anthem is played, but today few people seem to know, or care.When the Music Stopped .(For those who are unaware: At all military base theaters, the National Anthem is played before the movie begins.)This is written from a Chaplain in Iraq:I recently attended a showing of ‘Superman 3’ here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as memorial services and other large gatherings.As is the custom at all military bases, we stood to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature.All was going well until three-quarters of the way through The National Anthem, the music stopped.Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States?I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and yell for the movie to begin.Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.Here in Iraq, 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again and the Soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention.But again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect 1000 Soldiers standing at attention to do??Frankly, I expected some laughter, and everyone would eventually sit down and wait for the movie to start.But No!!… You could have heard a pin drop, while every Soldier continued to stand at attention.Suddenly,there was a lone voice from the front of the auditorium, then a dozen voices, and soonthe room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off:“And the rockets’ red glare,the bombs bursting in air,gave proof through the nightthat 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.”It was the most inspiring moment I have had in Iraq and I wanted you to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you. Remember them as they fight for us!Pass this along as a reminder to others to be ever in prayer for all our soldiers serving us here at home and abroad. Many have already paid the ultimate price.Written by Chaplain Jim Higgins.LSA Anaconda is at the Ballad Airport in Iraq, north of Baghdad.Please share only if you are so inclined.God Bless America and all of our troops serving throughout the world.