YOU ASK! WE ANSWER! YOU DECIDE!
By Calllie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace
QUESTION: I have had the pleasure of attending my son's middle school sporting events and have noticed with increasing regularity at the beginning of each game when the national anthem is played, many people continue to talk on their cellphones and/or madly text away, giving no deference to this sacred tradition. Am I the only one offended by these chatters?
CALLIE'S ANSWER: Speak up if this is offending you. I doubt you are the only one.
LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: I would imagine you are not the only one offended by this. After all, pausing for the national anthem together is a longtime way of showing respect to the ideals that unite us as a country, even if it is difficult to sing.
However, as hard as it is to believe, maybe the people doing this have never been taught that respect, or perhaps they forgot that lesson long ago or want to ignore it.
These days, unfortunately, our phones are very alluring, to the point of removing us mentally from the scene that is right in front of us. It's even worse a temptation for many teens and preteens who feel the need to be connected to friends at all times. Maybe it's time for a clever campaign led by the principal, coaches, announcers or student leaders to remind people of what to do during the national anthem - hand over their hearts and all -- and why they should do it. It would be an interesting history lesson, for starters. Lay the groundwork to turn your offense into a learning experience by mentioning it to people who can help teach it.
HELEN'S ANSWER: Appropriate behavior during the national anthem should be that people who are present stop what they are doing and stand quietly until the song is over.