A Chorus of Patriots

Soon the gun would sound and the Fighting Hunger race would begin. We were asked to join in and sing the National Anthem. Situated close to the starting line, I could see things were not going as planned. The sound technicians were frantically trying to resolve the problem with the public address system. Simply put, the carefully arranged speakers were going off and on. The soloist was trying her best to adapt to the situation, but to no avail. Finally, one of the technicians shrugged his shoulders and mouthed the words, “I don’t know what’s wrong!” While the sound was blaring off and on, I noticed something that made me, well I can’t put it another way … I was proud to be an American! Standing there, hand over heart, watching Old Glory wave in that cold morning air, I heard something. I heard the voices of over 4,000 people each time the speakers went off. They were only audible when the voice of the soloist could not be heard. The voice of the soloist was beautiful and strong, the voices of the people soft and clear, a melodious whisper which filled the air. The soloist and voices were in perfect timing. When one could not be heard, the other took its place. When one faltered, the other rose up and took its place.

Hearing that, I thought, “This is America! This is why we are an exceptional nation. This is what defines who we are and what makes America great.” Our voices that day were a mixture of race, religion, age, and different political persuasions. On that day we sang as one, maybe not in perfect harmony, but we did our best. “Yes,” I said, “this truly is the land of the free and home of the brave. And what I am hearing is a chorus of patriots.”

I know eventually I will forget that day, the race and all the festivities, but I will never forget the voices of so many which sang together our National Hymn.

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