Monday, August 10, 2009

Oh Say Can You See.

There are not many places you can go to hear the National Anthem anymore, but a sporting event is always a sure bet. One of the privileges of being a beer vendor at the Metrodome is getting to hear the National Anthem 81 times a year.

There are many interpretations, and I have heard them all… and have never been disappointed. From the 6-year-old pageant candidate, to a barbershop quartet of senior citizens, they all are unique. I have heard marching bands, professional singers, war veterans, bagpipes, violin soloists, and Jimi Hendrix wanna-be’s. They each have one thing in common when they sing the “Star Spangled Banner”…

They put their heart into it.

They stand out there, many times all alone… right in front of the pitcher’s mound, with 30,000 listening and critiquing. A camera is always right in front of their face, which is blown up larger than life on the 2 jumbotrons…

…And they don’t miss a note.

Thank you to anyone who has sung the National Anthem at a Twins Game since 1989. I have personally appreciated your patriotism and your passion.

There is another Twins tradition every Sunday. At the 7th inning stretch, someone sings “God Bless America” before we hear “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”. Earlier this year, there was an 80-year-old WWII veteran singing. Now, he might have missed a few notes, and even Randy Jackson would have said he was “pitchy”, but he stood there proudly and gave it everything he could. The reaction from the crowd was amazing. They knew how much it meant to him to sing this song for this audience.

I hope he knows that it meant a lot to everyone who heard it.

Thank you sir, for showing over 30,000 people what patriotism meant to you.

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