Tag Archives: national anthem

Still “Standing:” On Professional Athletes, T-Shirts, World Wars, And The Flag

Hi Friends:

This may be the hardest time I’ve ever had with writing about a particular subject.

I’ve gone back and forth with this one, thinking, praying … just wanting to do the right thing.

The whole, entire purpose of my writing, and our efforts on social media, is “to bless, inspire, and encourage.” I pray every day that we’ll be able to “bless, inspire, and encourage.”

I make every effort to not be a “news commentary” or even to comment at all on “what is happening” in our country. I see, like you, “what is happening.” There are already so many “channels” out there that supply commentary, and, yes, so much of it is negative.
There is so much good in our country, the United States of America. There is also much good in other countries. Unfortunately, so often, when we feel compelled to write about “what’s going on” we are thinking of something negative, not positive.

So … when I witnessed the WNBA season opener, and saw the players-all the players-from both teams-walk off the floor, go back to the locker room, before the National Anthem played … I can’t put into words how I felt. I wasn’t expecting that … it caught me completely off guard.

I wasn’t mad … I wasn’t angry … I was ashamed.

So, this is the hard part of all this. I so look forward to the WNBA season. First, it means Summer is finally here. Second, we are so familiar with the players, having watched so many of them … followed their careers in college … still love the women’s college basketball … In fact, I am wearing a college women’s basketball T-Shirt as I write this … So, when I saw both teams go to the locker room, so they wouldn’t have to be “subjected” to the National Anthem … well … I just felt sick inside. Real sick. In watching another WNBA game this “opening” weekend, I saw an entire WNBA team kneel, arms locked in unison, while the National Anthem played.

I have written much about my feelings toward the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) for refusing to even air the National Anthem (except maybe on Thanksgiving and Super Bowl) during an NFL (No Flag Loyalty) regular season game. Well … guess what? The WNBA hasn’t aired our National Anthem so far … and, it’s not looking any better for tomorrow.

I still, and I mean I still, don’t understand why an American citizen would not stand for our National Anthem, or would leave the field before the Anthem is played. That’s pretty much it. I just don’t understand why. And then, I don’t understand why, and I mean I still, don’t understand why someone who is an American would support someone who would not stand for our National Anthem, or support someone who would leave the field before the Anthem is played.

I never thought I would ever see the day when this would even be an issue.
Last I heard … a particular individual who gained fame for kneeling during the Anthem would, one day, be considered a hero. I hope I never see that day. But, I never thought I’d see this day, either.  

By the way, the play-by-play announcer, whom I do have much respect and admiration for, would, later, go out of his way to clarify: The WNBA teams left the floor before our National Anthem was played-and not during/or when our National Anthem was playing. He, however … did not explain what the difference between the two actions are. Meant the same to me.

I really was having trouble with this one. Should I write about this? The definition of a blog is “a website that contains online personal reflections, comments … provided by the writer.” I’ve tried not to do this, for reasons explained. However … if I wrote so much about the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) … should I … could I … ignore this? I really wanted to.  

I struggled with whether I should or shouldn’t.
Then … I noticed the T-Shirt I was wearing:

It features the soldiers raising the American Flag on Iwo Jima. I’m sure you are familiar with that image. Above the American Flag, in the sky overhead, fireworks are in dazzling display. On the bottom-right of the image, is written “FREEDOM 2001.” Yes, that’s how long I’ve worn this T-Shirt.

The American Flag. How many brave men and women have died or been injured defending it?

Yeah … I’ll stand.

I thought about this: What if we had not won the war? In this case, World War II?
What if another country won?
I guess I was thinking what if our enemy (enemies) in that war had won?
Would our highly-paid, highly-coddled athletes still refuse to stand? Would an entire team be allowed to just walk off the field of play so they would not have to be “subjected” to this Nation’s Anthem?

What would happen today, right now … in so many other countries, if an individual or entire team refused to stand for their nation’s National Anthem?

As you know, during World War II, and other wars before and since … including today … it was and is the direct actions of brave men and women willing to sacrifice their lives to make, and then, to keep, us free.

I believe I know what the rest of the world (especially our “enemies”) think of this situation where people, claiming to be American citizens, refuse to honor our Flag, and our country.

Remember, the Public Address Announcer, at the stadium/arena very clearly states:
“And now, to honor America, please stand …”

To honor America.
So … that is the purpose of singing/playing our National Anthem before the game … I see …

So, this would mean, if you don’t stand to honor America …

While I stared at my T-Shirt … I wondered … I really, really did:

What do our brave men and women, around the world (including here at “home”) think about someone claiming to be an American, who will not stand or honor our Flag, or our National Anthem? I really did think about this.

So, I made the decision that the right thing to do was to voice my concern over this issue.
As an American, an American citizen, founder of a company which has “Freedom” in its name, and as an American writer, I felt I had no choice.

Yeah … I’ll stand.

And, continue to wonder: If they won’t stand for our flag, whose flag would they stand for?

I have to stand. I understand the sacrifices which were made to gain our freedom, and I understand what the American Flag represents.

My Father, and my Father-in-Law, both had American Flags draped over their caskets. I saw and heard the 21-gun salutes. Heard the bugler and “Taps.”
The last funeral of a non-family member I attended was a close friend. He, too, had the American Flag draped over his casket. I heard the bugler and “Taps.”

I support the brave men and women of the Armed Forces, and their mission and work around the globe.

Yeah … I’ll stand.

I just don’t understand why someone won’t stand to honor these men and women, and our country, our Flag.
I do understand that they have a right not to stand, I guess. But, don’t they realize the reason they have that right … the reason they have that freedom … is because of the very country they live in? That this country, the United States, allows them the freedom to live whatever lifestyle they choose … and, to share that lifestyle with whomever they choose?

Why didn’t I just turn off the TV … I couldn’t … I had to watch Sabrina Ionescu’s (followed her in college) debut game … And … and … if I had turned it off, I would not have seen this:
One of my favorite former college players, which we followed her entire career, sustained an ankle injury, and was down on the court … Before the network could cut away … I witnessed my very favorite WNBA player … kneeling next to the injured player … and, she had laid her hands on her, and was praying … yes … praying … This was similar to NFL (No Flag Loyalty) games where, after the game, there are a number of players-from both sides-who gather in a circle and pray … Yep, as soon as the cameras see this, they quickly, quickly pan away, but I’ve seen it several times after a game …

I’m writing this between WNBA games. Yes … I am still watching … but I won’t tomorrow night, and I’m thinking about future games. I keep getting calls from our closest WNBA team, trying to get me to buy season tickets. I think, now, that I will return his call, so that he will know that, as long as his team does not “honor America,” don’t call back.

If more fans took this stance: We won’t support a team which doesn’t support America … you can bet that … all of a sudden … if it was costing them money … these sports would become the most Patriotic organizations on earth …
Once again, I’ll say this: While I no longer watch Major League Baseball, last time I watched they not only sang our National Anthem, but they played “God Bless America” during the “7th-Inning stretch.” Can you imagine the uproar if the WNBA and NFL (No Flag Loyalty) wanted to sing “God Bless America” during a break in the game???

Can’t watch baseball anymore. Seems like there is not much of a penalty for cheating … even during the World Series, which, like a lot of things in this country, used to be revered …
So … should we change their name to MBL to stand for:
Mighty Big Lenses
Might Be Lying

No more baseball for me. Already cut the season. Before you know it … they’ll try to cut the number of innings they have to play …

I’m in-between games, and I’m writing. As it gets close to the second televised WNBA game, I am switching between channels (ESPN, NESN, CBSSN) to see who is carrying the “late game.” I’m not making this up: ESPN was at the end of a MSL (that’s soccer) game, and they showed highlights of the game … the teams playing were from American cities (I don’t know much about MLS), and the highlights showed an entire team kneeling during our National Anthem. I don’t know … If they don’t stand for our flag, whose flag do they stand for? I’m sure a lot of people around the world watch soccer from ‘the states … I wonder how they felt about that … Anyway … they say “MLS is back,” but for me, if this is what they “stand for” (did I just write that?), they can stay gone …

I switched to NESN … that’s New England Sports Network … the show playing was “The Best of the 2019-2020 Bruins Season” … I’m not making this up … I only watched one highlight from last season … it was Lauren Hart singing our National Anthem before a Boston Bruins/Philadelphia Flyers hockey game … I’m serious … this was a highlight of the entire season … Not only did I stand, but I made a mental note to start watching the Bruins on TV …

Then … on ESPN … you know how they scroll the headlines at the bottom of the screen?
On the NBA turn, in bold letters, it proclaimed that all coaches and players had kneeled during our National Anthem before the game … Not sure if they played the anthem live or not … that would have been honoring America … I don’t know what the score was; that didn’t seem to be as important a story …

So, in closing, I still don’t understand:
How could an American not stand for our National Anthem?
I mean … how could they not?

Whose flag would they stand for?

Do we need to change the names of the leagues to:

WNBA: We Need to Be American
WNBA: Need to Be American

MLS: Don’t care. Maybe
Might Leave Shortly.

As I’ve written, I’m not angry at all this. I know we live in a world that is lost and dying.
I know that the problem with such issues is not intelligence, but blindness.

As an American, who proudly supports our military and soldiers (past and present), I believe it is the right thing to do, to “stand and honor America.”

Next thing you know, they will try to dis-honor our police.

For our friends around the world, let me advise that, when referring to “American sports athletes,” I am writing of individuals who play for an American city or American region team, located within the United States borders. If I told you how much money they make, for playing a game, while enjoying the freedoms of living within the United States, you probably would not believe me, and especially would not believe that they would refuse the opportunity to “stand and honor” the country which allows them to have such freedom, posterity, and privilege. I know, as we support the efforts of those in “hostile and restricted” nations, that, so many of you would be tempted to say, “Why don’t you come and live over here for awhile?”

So … If you to ask me if, instead of “standing to honor our brave men and women who are proudly serving our country both here and around the world,” would I prefer to kneel …

No thanks.
I am an American.
I’ll stand.
I have to.
I’m an American.

Richard. Vincent. Rose.    

Gladys Knight: “You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”

Hi Friends:

I’ll admit it:
I just love Gladys Knight.
And, I have for years.

You too?

If I had to pick one word to describe her singing performances, I would be torn between Incomparable,” “Class,” or “Joy.” The smile is just so … so … real … It’s just the way she comes across to the audience. How she loves to sing, how much she loves and appreciates the audience, and how she just loves the songs she sings. This particular performance captures all that, and is at the top of the list for the greatest performance of a song I’ve ever enjoyed.

Of course, being from Georgia … there is one song that immediately comes to mind when I think of Gladys Knight. Yet … this song is “right there with it.” Sure, I can relate to the “Georgia” song, but … then, there’s “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.” How can I not love it? How can anyone, in love … not love it?

How often I’ve written these two thoughts:
Except for salvation, Carol is the greatest gift God has given me.
If your spouse is not your biggest fan … then, you’ve got problems.

Often, when we feature a song, we will include the words. This time, I don’t need to. I can feel each word as it is expressed in this song. And, hear it loud and clear. I literally “hang onto” each phrase in the song. She performs it that well.

A friend of mine told me how, seeing her in concert years ago, it had affected him. He told me how, when she came out on stage, she had looked so classy. She was … just … so classy … He never forgot the image of seeing her on stage, in person, for the first time.

As you know, Gladys Knight will be singing our National Anthem at this year’s Super Bowl, which takes place in the town she was born, Atlanta.
Man … I wish she would just stay on and play the Half-Time Show …

You too?

I guess I should thank whoever picks the half-time entertainment at the Super Bowl … they have made sure I can leave the room, go out and get some fresh air, etc., at this year’s event. I won’t see it, but … if Gladys was there … well … like many of you … you couldn’t “pry me from the chair” … I just saw, today, where there was “controversy” about the Half-Time Show.
Are you serious?
I don’t’ know why, but, if what someone told me was true, I can’t believe it.

I just know that if Gladys was doing the show … there wouldn’t be any controversy … and I would actually sit and watch it.

A fellow teacher was telling me how, because of certain calls (or non-calls) in the NFC Championship Game, he was not going to watch the Super Bowl at all.
Then I told him, “Guess who’s singing the National Anthem?
Gladys Knight.”

His eyes lit up, and he said, “Then I’ll watch that, for sure.”

You see … we love Gladys Knight … and, like her,
“Ooh … I like this song.”
Please note the credits from skyvillelive.com:

NFL: No Flag Loyalty-Part Three: “What Happened to the NFL?”

Just a couple of weeks ago, we had a High School basketball game, as a special part of our regular School day.
Before the game started, it was a moment I’ll never forget:
As a student sang the National Anthem, I was mesmerized by a good friend of mine, our “School Resource Officer,” (for those who don’t know, that’s a uniformed Police Officer who is part of our School Staff), who, the entire time the Anthem was sung, stood proudly at attention, in full salute, facing the large American Flag, which is draped from the gym ceiling. It was, simply, a proud moment I’ll never forget. It reminded me of how important it is to recognize the sacrifices made for our freedom, and in his case, also included were the sacrifices made by fellow Police Officers.

It began with just wanting to reflect on things that had happened between the first and last parts of our series, “The Price for Freedom.” The one thing that stood out, for me, was the “fuss” being generated over this “Stand for the Anthem” issue. I thought about this statement:
To those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

Back in November, that “Reflection” Post was to introduce the final video in our “The Price for Freedom” series, and it was to be titled “Reflecting on the Changes Since Start of Series.” We concluded the series, the same way we began, by featuring a Memorial Day speech from President Ronald Reagan, which supplied our banner for the series:

“The price for this freedom has been high … but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.”

The First Video in this series, “The Price for Freedom,” was posted on June 23, 2017.
Since that time, I have experienced, and witnessed, much sadness and tragedy … As, have many of you.

In July, my beloved Father passed away, and I stood there, near his flag-draped casket, as I witnessed the 21-Gun Salute.

In October, one of my closest and dearest friends passed away, and I stood there, near his flag-draped casket, as the Soldiers came up in perfect formation, performed a heart-wrenching Memorial ceremony (this was conducted inside), and I listened to the words of why the design of our American Flag meant so much to those who live under it … what the flag represented…

Since that first video … This is just since June … I have seen that, just standing for our National Anthem … this same flag which was draped over the casket of my loved one … and yours … just standing in honor of that same flag … has become an issue …
I still can’t believe it … I understand it … like you do … but, I still can’t believe it…

Keep in Mind this Post was originally written, and scheduled for release in November:

I do know that one of the things I most look forward to, before a football game, is the National Anthem.
Now … “they” don’t even show it during a regular football telecast.
A league advertising“Salute  to the Military” … yet, they have ceased, made a conscious decision, to not even show the singing of our National Anthem … I get it … You don’t want to see your sport being booed … But, to say you “support” the Military, our Military, and, then, make a decision, a Corporate decision, to not broadcast the singing of our National Anthem….

Hey, America … I watched the World Series … Every Game this year, for the first time in many, many years…
Every game, I saw the players stand, and remove their hats, and stand … and stand … like Americans … for the singing of our National Anthem.
Can you imagine what would have happened if just one baseball player … just one … had kneeled during the National Anthem???

My close friend, speaking of the NFL, says “It’s too late.” Major League Baseball, which didn’t “pour it on” with “Military Salutes” during the World Series … well, the best part was the first part … The National Anthem…

A moment to explain the background behind this “It’s too late” statement. A close friend was pretty angry (that’s a polite phrase) that, at the height of this “National Anthem” fuss, one football team did not even come out for the singing of the National Anthem. Yes, they refused to even come out to the field for the National Anthem. However, they did allow one player to come out to the edge of the tunnel, where he stood at attention, hand over heart, for the Anthem. Note that this particular player is a former Captain in the United States Army, in which he served as an Army Ranger and was decorated with a Bronze Star for valor, and served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. I don’t know if the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) team tried to tie him up, or chain him, or something else to prevent him from coming out in honor of those who have served and died for our Country, but he, somehow, made it out at least to the edge of the field. Maybe he would have faced suspension if he had actually stepped onto the field? Anyway, another high-profile member of the team wrote something of an apology for the team, saying that intentionally not coming out for the Anthem may have been a mistake. You think??? So, there I was, and this was back in the Fall, there I was, trying to, and this is true … I tried to defend the apology of the player, that he had, in his own way, tried to apologize for his team’s actions. That’s when I got the response, “It’s too late.”

By the way, the game in question was at, and you can’t make this stuff up … the game was at “Soldier Field.” I just read that this particular player’s jersey was the top selling jersey on the NFL’s official store in the 24 hour period after that Sunday’s games.

So, back in November, I wrote this:

What Happened to the NFL?

What happened to the NFL?
They used to play for you and me
Now, they only seem to play for “ME.”

Before each game
I would wait for the Anthem to play
Waiting to stand to give honor to our country
Now, they won’t even show the Anthem on TV
That’s one more channel on which I can’t stay

You won’t stand in honor of those who have died?
You won’t stand in honor of those who have served?
You play a game, yes, play, yes, play a game,
Yet, you won’t stand for those whose honor is deserved?

You kneel, but not to pray
You kneel, yet are allowed to play
Yes, play, a game
You are still allowed in this country, to stay?

If you don’t stand for our flag
What do you stand for?
If you don’t stand for our flag
Whose flag do you stand for?

You say, proudly, that this isn’t about you
It’s about others, and what they are going through
That this isn’t about “ME,” you then stand and say
That it isn’t about “ME,’ what you showed us today

When the anthem plays, we all know to “remove our hats and stand”
We all remove our hats, yes, our hats we all doff
So, I have this question for you all:
If this isn’t just about “YOU,”
Why, then, as you kneel, do you take your helmets off?

So, then, it’s not about “THEM,” it’s about “YOU”
Otherwise, you would leave your helmet on
How else could they get a close-up of “YOU”
Instead of showing the Red, White, and Blue?
If you don’t stand for the American flag
Which flag do you stand for?
If it’s not about “YOU,”
Why do you take your helmet off?

You’ve done your job
You’ve shown yourself to me
So have the networks
Now, they don’t even show the Anthem on TV

While you kneel there,
Thinking you are great,
I must agree with my friends,
For the NFL, it’s too late
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

To those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

NFL: No Flag Loyalty-Part One

Opening statement to those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

On November 8th, 2017, I posted the last (so far) video in our series of support and honor for our Veterans and Soldiers, those who have served, and those still serving today … a series entitled “The Price for Freedom.”
Here’s a direct link to the series:
The Price For Freedom

The series had begun on June 23, 2017, and I just wanted to look back at what had changed in the short time between the first video, and, the last video. That’s all! Just take a look at events which had happened during this short time.

Please allow me to say this … Please …
Our writing, and, in particular, our online ministries, have just one goal, one mission, and, it’s simply to “Bless, inspire, and encourage.” That’s it.
Period.
So, I have battled with writing about this “Stand for the National Anthem” issue for well over 2 months.

I remember an interview I did several years ago, when I made the statement that, “I am not just a Christian. I am a Christian writer. My job is not to conform to public policy. My job is to change public policy.”
I think it’s ok to have an opinion. I also understand that, if we express our opinion, in public, we must be prepared to defend it. I think it’s ok to love Jesus. I think it’s ok to love your wife. I think it’s ok to love your family. I think it’s ok to love your Country.
So, as the writer of “The Eagle Still Flies (A New Anthem for America),” I must be prepared to write about my love for Country … and, my love for those who serve and protect it.

This … I do now.

So, as I thought about the events of the last months, the one thing that stood out, for me, was the “fuss” being generated over this “Stand for the Anthem” issue.
First … I can’t even believe this is an issue!

For this to even be an issue is, just, wrong.

For there to even be a debate about this, is, just, wrong.
Whether you like it or not … and I know that we live in this world, even though we may not be of this world … but … whether we like it or not … there are still some things, in this world, that are, just, wrong.
Period.

My Father was a Veteran.
My wife’s Father was a Veteran.
Many of you had, or have, a Father which is, or was, a Veteran.
Many of you have a spouse who has a Father which is, or was, a Veteran.
Yes … I capitalize the word “Veteran.”
Whether you like it or not.
Just another way to give honor.
And, respect.

And … I can’t make this statement strongly enough:
It is a way to honor the families of those who have served.
Whether you like it, or not, we are talking about sacrifice, which apparently, many don’t have
a single clue about.

I agree:
Honor.
Sacrifice.
Dignity.
Unfortunately, I must agree, there are too many who “don’t have a clue” about any of those three.

But … there are many who do. Who do understand the sacrifice that, just agreeing to serve, involves. Who do understand that “The price for our freedom has been high.”

That do appreciate the sacrifice … made by others … so that we can be free.
This came at a cost.

OK, I’ll say it:
Just because you aren’t willing to sacrifice or serve or be grateful or be thankful or be aware of what your freedom costs …
I think you can finish the rest.

My Father had a US Flag draped over his casket.
My wife’s Father had a US Flag draped over his casket.
One of my best and closet friends, who died only recently, had a US Flag draped over his casket.

I’ll stand for the Anthem.

I know … deep down … and, I mean the “deepest of down” … why I stand for the Anthem …
Yes, there is a reason … deep down … I stand and honor those who serve, and have served.

If you don’t stand … I agree … There must be a reason … deep down … that you don’t.

The NFL?
No Flag Loyalty.

Simply put, to honor the Anthem is … just simply that … “wrapped up,” as my Father’s, my Father-in-Law’s, my friend’s casket was … “wrapped up” in the US Flag.

That’s ok, NFL (No Flag Loyalty), don’t show the Anthem, except on special occasions …

Before a Monday Night Football broadcast, I was prepared to stand, and enjoy, the broadcast of … as they always do … the singing of the National Anthem …
They didn’t show it.
While I can’t quote all that Carol and others I know have said about the decision to not telecast the National Anthem … I do remember this statement that Carol made, when I stood … yes, stood … dumbfounded … wondering, aloud … why they did not air the singing of our National Anthem:
“I guess they don’t want to be embarrassed.”
Embarrassed? About showing the National Anthem?
Then … I got it:
It would be an embarrassment to show players who don’t stand.

I am a fan of the NFL, even though they demonstrate
No Flag Loyalty.

I mean, I love the game.
Though, not so much … now.

I heard on the radio that the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) ratings, or business, or something like that, was down 20%. I know my interest level isn’t as high as it was … even from last year.

I will never buy another NFL (No Flag Loyalty) product again.
I know others who feel the same way.

Wait … isn’t the opportunity to honor my Father … My Father-in Law … my friend …
Those in your family … your friends … those who enjoy freedom because of their sacrifice and service …
Isn’t any opportunity to honor them …
A special occasion …???

At some point, I must say that, as I’ve heard sportscasters say, “We forget about the 99% of NFL players who do the right thing … who are a positive role model …”
I agree 100% with this statement.

At one point, I thought, and I must “clean this up” quite a bit, that
the “NFL” should stand for “Need to Find a Lawyer.”

Now, as we introduce this short series … I must say, that
the “NFL” should stand for “No Flag Loyalty.”

I’m sorry … did I just use the word “stand?”

I know … I know … you may be asking, “How important is this?”

Earlier in the season, I watched a game from London. Yes … I got up at 7:00AM to watch it. I told you, I still like the sport, and I am a fan of one of the quarterback on one of the teams. They always show the singing of the National Anthem from both countries involved. During the singing of the United States National Anthem, they seemed to go out of their way to show players (I don’t remember how many) who did not stand for the United States National Anthem.

What message do you think that sent to the world?

Later in the season, they had a game in Mexico City. Same thing. Both Anthems.
During the singing of the United States National Anthem, they seemed to go out of their way to show players (I don’t remember how many) who did not stand for the United States National Anthem.

What message do you think that sent to the world?

No wonder they are embarrassed.

I know I am.

Closing statement to those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

Richard. Vincent. Rose.
Founder/President
Freedom Unlimited Resources

“I’m not that old … but, I remember”… The Power of Music

I don’t know if you can have too many series going at the same time, but here’s a new one:

It’s amazing how powerful music is; how powerful songs are; how powerful the words can be. Not just to enhance a current moment in your life, but, the power that a song can have to take you back … to a moment, or series of moments, from years ago. How a song can just make you “think back” and remember … both good, and bad, times. The pure emotion that hearing a song can bring out.

On Friday night, I try to catch up on business paperwork, and do all of “the financials” for both home and business. It’s always “been an exhausting week,” so it gives me a chance to at least sit down, while still “getting stuff done.” Between doing the laundry and running the dishwasher, I get caught up on paperwork, ship out free gifts to customers …wait … this doesn’t seem like much of a “night off,” but, for me, it is among the “least busy” times of the week … So … I “treat myself” to listening to music, while I work. It is the only time I actually listen to the radio, except for Sports Talk, when I’m in the truck running errands or back/forth to work. Really … it’s not the radio at all that I listen to. It’s online music. I listen to AOL music online, and it’s always “oldies,” like their “Super Seventies.”

This may be odd for someone who is “an old radio man,” but, I like to listen to what I like to listen to … and … I don’t like the commercials on broadcast stations. It’s not the content of the commercials, just the commercials, period. At least they are limited, online, and are almost always for Home Depot or Lowes, so I can bear with those. Anyway, I probably do this “online music” thing about 2 times a month, but I enjoy the music when I do.

As an old radio man, however, sometimes listening online has its drawbacks. For instance, I always want to look at the picture of who is singing the song. I like to know what album it is from. I like to know the history of the singer, or the song, which you can usually get as each individual song plays. So, sometimes … I don’t get as much done as I could, because I am researching each artist and song … Sometimes, they play I song I really love, and I’ll just have to jump over to YouTube, and see the live performance … and, you know how that is … before you know it … you’ve spent the evening bringing up all those “related” songs showing up on the right side of your screen …

Ok, so one night, I’ll admit it … I set aside the paperwork, and compiled a list of my favorite songs, which could be shared, via YouTube, with our friends … Yes, I recorded them, or copied the links, just in case I wasn’t allowed to use them on our online ministries … Didn’t get much done that night … or, did I?

One of these days, I’ll have to write about our YouTube channel. Our writing, and what we do online, is never to “promote us,” so we don’t talk about it much. But, we are grateful for our friends who join us over on our YouTube channel. I will put a link at the end here, so that you can access all of the videos we’ve shared.

Ok, so I admit I love music, even though I don’t listen to it often. I recognize the power a song has. The power the words have. The memories they can “jar loose.” As a writer, I know the power words have, and how the words I have been so blessed to write have affected other people. I guess I am taking this moment to realize how words so many other people have written, have affected me.

The power of music. Is it any wonder that in “Old Testament Times,” before a battle … the musicians and “praise teams” would march out first? Often, the battle would be won before the soldiers “fired a shot.”

It strikes me now, this “singing and playing music” before a battle. I’m not comparing the two, I’m really not, but understand the intent: Don’t we play or sing (or both) our National Anthem before a sports contest? Wouldn’t we consider sports a “battle” of sorts? Again, I’m not comparing the two, trust me, but consider the point. Music, a song, can unite us, can spur our emotions, really, like nothing else.

So, I think it’s ok to listen to music. To even enjoy music. Some of my best friends have been musicians. Still are. I don’t get out much, but I enjoy, so much, listening to live music. To watch the band. Even between songs.

It looks like, yet again, I have written an introduction to a piece that is so long, I don’t have room for the original piece …

This series will be called “I Remember,” and will talk about memories I have, from not that long ago. It hasn’t been that long ago, has it?

It would be sub-titled:
“I’m not that old … but, I remember…”

I remember when there was no question: When the National Anthem played, you removed your hat/cap, and stood.
Period. There was never, ever, any question. Never. Ever.
No question.

I watched the football game from England last week. We have so many friends who join us from “across the Pond.” Bless them.
It was awesome to see both Anthems being played before the game.
The power of music, or a song, to unite us, to stir emotions. Like nothing else.

The older I get … the more I love “Georgia on my Mind,” regardless of who sings it … I’m listening to a version of it now…

I remember Karen Carpenter.
The older I get … the more I think that she may have had the most beautiful voice … ever…
Karen Carpenter.
I remember.
I remember being on live Radio when the news broke … and, announcing, live, that Karen Carpenter had died.
I can still see the teletype paper in my hand … shaking as I read…

In 1977, I was live on the Radio when the news broke about Elvis … I still remember the date…
I still remember.
August 16, 1977.
I still remember the time of day. The teletype in my hand. The teletype machine going wild.
Bells … News … Bells…

I remember “Ringing the Bells” at noon … each day of the Hostage Crisis in Iran…
I remember…

I’m not that old … but, I remember…

I remember when “instrumentals” were hits … even the themes of TV shows.
I remember “The Rockford Files.”
And, the theme.

I remember Henry Mancini.

I remember a lot of things.
Yet … I’m not that old…

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

9/11: 14 Years Later and “The Eagle Still Flies”

Our High School Library features a large-screen television, so today, September 11, I set the channel to a news channel, in
order for students to see today’s coverage of the “9/11” observances held around the country … And, for these young people to “see what we saw” and experienced 14 years ago … An opportunity to see recorded history of the most significant event
in many of our lives …

The Library is a busy place, and I couldn’t watch much TV, but I did see clips from around the United States from today’s
observances …

As I write this now, I am thinking that, not once, did I see a news clip of a recording that was actually made on that day
of days, that Tuesday, 14 years ago … When we all remember where we were, what we were doing, “when we first heard the
news.” Since I don’t usually watch network news, there may have been clips from that day on other channels, or maybe
tonight, as the networks look back.

However, I was able to witness reactions from those in the Library, throughout the day, who shared their rememberances of
that day with students, and with me. One teacher tried to explain what happened on that day to a student who was only 2
years old at the time … The emotion in her voice … as she looked at me … and, then looked away … is something I just
can’t get out of my mind. It was the emotion of that day … the emotions of that day that we all felt … the emotion, what
we felt, that, even as I write this now, and remember her description, just hours ago, of how everyone turned on the TV
after the first Tower was hit … and then … on live television … the second Tower … As she explained to a young man,
only 2 years old at the time, about the emotions that day, what she felt, what we all felt … well, I had to turn away,
too.

It’s been a long time since my writing brought tears to my own eyes … but, now, writing this, thinking about this lady,
explaining to someone who really “wasn’t there,” how we felt on that day … well … Now, I have to get up and walk around
a bit …

Today, as I watched news reports of the observances, I did see many quotes from that day, and the days immediately
thereafter. One of the quotes referred to the events of Pearl Harbor, in comparision. As I stood by, listening to this
Teacher explaining the emotions of September 11, 2001, for reasons I can’t explain, I mentioned Pearl Harbor, because I knew
that this student must have known about “that day.” So often, I’ve spoken of the great surge of patriotism which struck
America after 9/11, which I have, myself, often compared to the national patriotism shown immediately after Pearl Harbor. He
knew about Pearl Harbor. So, I went there … explaining that the morning after Pearl Harbor, there were lines outside of
the Military recruiting stations, stretching for blocks … This lady told of her own family, all of the brothers, in line,
waiting for the opportunity to “sign up” to join in the fight. Only the Father, there in line with his sons and many other
relatives, was not allowed to join.

Today, and I am sorry I had forgotten about this, but, in the Library, today, I heard about “The Sullivan Brothers” of World II. This was done in front of a crowd, so, as a result of today’s news coverage, we learned their story, and I’ll share this
now, from www.militaryauthority.com:
“The story of the Sullivan brothers is one of patriotism and tragedy. Albert, Francis, George, Joseph, and Madison Sullivan
of Waterloo, Iowa enlisted together in the Navy on January 3rd, 1942. The brothers insisted on serving on the same ship, and
were assigned to the light cruiser U.S.S. Juneau. On the way to Guadalcanal the Juneau and several other ships were attacked
(known as the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal). Japanese torpedoes hit the Juneau hit multiple times, eventually sinking her on
November 13th, 1942. Survivors of the Juneau say that four of the brothers died immediately with the first torpedo hit,
while the fifth brother, George, died five days later from his wounds, exposure, exhaustion, and possibly a shark attack.”

Today, in the Library, a young man walked up to the Circulation Desk, and, pointing to the television, explained to me that
the news was about 9/11 … He lived in an apartment building … right across from the World Trade Center … He would have
been much too young to remember much, but, I must have seen that same apartment building in my visit to Ground Zero …

I heard another story today, in the Library. A Teacher, telling of the events-and especially the emotions, what we were all
feeling that day-told of a couple, whose son was graduating from the Military (I won’t mention the location) in South
Carolina. Set to gratuate from the Military on September 11. I just happen to personally know this couple, so the events
that follow I can actually visualize. They, from here in Northern New Hampshire, drove to Manchester, to catch their flight
to South Carolina. This was September 11, 2001. When they arrived at the airport, they were informed that all flights had
been cancelled, as all air traffic was ordered down. Remember that? Remember the emotions? This couple, and I know very well
the father, was not going to miss their son’s graduation. They drove back home … got the truck … and, loaded up all the
survival gear and supplies (I’ll leave it there) they could pack … and, headed to South Carolina. The description of how
the Military base, how it was so surrounded by tanks, etc., etc., was, just the day before, unimagianable.

Living in Connecticut at the time, I knew many people who “had people” in the Towers on that day. In my book, Modern Day  Psalms, I write about the events of that day, how the jets from Boston may have even flown over our home, and my feelings as
I drove home, my van covered in American flags, a proud member of the Presidential Prayer Team (a charter member), and how I
kept exclaiming, “We’re at war!” “We’re at war!” as I drove down Highway 84.

I remember President Bush addressing the nation … as his voice was nearly drowned out by the sound of military aircraft
circling … Remember that?

After writing “The Eagle Still Flies” as “A New Anthem for America,” I have been comforted and encourgaged by letters I’ve
received from many, including President Bush, the Mayor of New York, and so many others.

Today, I was proud, and touched, by a fellow teacher, who, after the Pledge of Allegiance (Yes! We stand and say the Pledge
of Allegiance at our High School!), gave an essay on why this day is important … whether we “were there” or not …

I can’t explain this, but I am, now, reminded of a story from the life of President Reagan, and I remember hearing this from
him, personally. After the assination attempt (remember that?), as he was being wheeled in to surgury, and, meeting the
operating surgeon, President Reagan looked up at him and said, “I hope you’re Republican.” The doctor’s response was this:
“Today, Mr. President, we are all Republican.”

I remember the emotions of September 11, 2001. I remember how I felt. I remember how we felt.
On that day … we were all “Americans.”

I had intended to only share with you my “New Anthem for America-The Eagle Still Flies.”
I wrote this, this day, September 11, 2015.

I’ll share the Anthem, and it’s introduction next time.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Read

 

Greatest Performance of This Year’s NBA Finals: Marlana Vanhoose

It was Tuesday, June 16th, 2015.
Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
They were all there …
Steph, LeBron, past and present stars of the NBA …

It was moments before tip-off at sold-out Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Then, came the announcement: “Here to perform our National Anthem this evening, please welcome Marlana Vanhoose …”

It was one of those moments … when you knew you were experiencing something very special … but, didn’t know exactly why … it was just something I felt …

Yes, I was among the many, many, who witnessed this performance, and had to “find out more …” So, I did …

I am going to include this link to her website, “littlemarlana.com,” so that you can find out more … Please allow me to include these words from her “My Story” page:

“Marlana was born with Cytomegalovirus (CMV), by the time she was a few weeks old it was discovered that she was blind. Her optic nerve never formed. She was not expected to live past one year. At the age of two, Marlana was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy.
But God knew better, He had special plans for Marlana. After Marlana turned a year old her body healed from the virus and that is when it all began. Marlana was humming “Jesus loves me” before she talked and by the time she was two years old she started playing the piano.
Marlana has invited Jesus into her heart and has been baptized. She loves God very much and says she has no need to see here on earth. She knows that when she gets to Heaven, Jesus will be the first face she’ll see.”

Here’s Marlana singing our National Anthem at Game 6 of the Finals:

Here’s a direct link to the website, where, “right off the bat,” you’ll see the words of Philippians 4:13, with the words “A Very Unique Soldier of God:”
www.littlemarlana.com

 

Our National Anthem: When … Where … and Whitney

… It all started when I was thinking about our National Anthem … How often do we hear it? When do we hear it?

Really, what I was thinking was this: If it wasn’t for sporting events … when would we hear our National Anthem? In the middle of this, I had forgotten that a presentation of the reading of our Declaration of Independence was included as part of the pre-game festivities surrounding the televised Super Bowl, which “constituted” our last post.

Anyway … the whole idea was, how often do we see, hear, or read these great documents, from which our nation, and, yes, our way of life, sprang?

So, back to our National Anthem. When do we hear it? If it wasn’t for sporting events, would we ever hear it at all?
Yes, I agree that some schools do include the singing of our National Anthem as part of a daily or weekly schedule, usually placed around the reading of the “morning announcements.” I have worked in schools where the Pledge of Allegiance (another post coming up) was featured every day,
and then, the National Anthem would be featured once a week. I know, every school is different in how they do all of this.

So … as adults, if we didn’t go to live sports events, or didn’t watch sports on television … when would we hear our National Anthem? Where would we hear our National Anthem?

As adults, here in the United States, if we didn’t go to sports events, or watch them on television … would we ever hear our National Anthem?
Ever?

I did considerable research on this. As an American author, including being the author of “The Eagle Still Flies (Under Star-Spangle Skies)-A New Anthem For America,” and having been honored to write many works with a patriotic theme, I am very much interested in all things patriotic …
I discovered that, yes, there is an existing “official code” for the
National Anthem of the United States of America. It was adopted by “The National Anthem Committee,” on April 2, 1942. Here’s what it says:

“The Star-Spangled Banner will be presented only in situations, programs, and ceremonies where its message can be effectively projected … it is of paramount importance that emphasis be placed upon the singing (italicized) of the Nation Anthem … Our National Anthem is customarily sung at the opening any any program … care should be taken to establish the correct pitch … The National Anthem should be sung at a moderate rate of speed … The statements herein relate to every mode of civilian performance of our National Anthem …”

Now … enter Whitney Houston:

I must be honest … yes, I must … ever since I got the idea for this post, I have had a particular version of the Nation Anthem saved … but, won’t, I can’t, use it here … I know, I know, when we think of the great versions of the Nation Anthem we’ve heard, we think of Whitney Houston … and, now, I know why …

You are thinking of the Super Bowl, back in 1991 … well, here is Whitney Houston singing our National Anthem, in Norfolk, Virginia (one of our favorite cities) … in front of the soldiers … at her “Welcome Home Heroes” concert … I had a lot of renditions of our National Anthems to choose from, but this one … from the first moments, I “felt” … enjoy!

 

Now … here is the performance, perhaps most known, from Super Bowl 25, on January 27, 1991 … It was the Buffalo Bills vs. the New York Giants, at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida … but, it (along with a certain kick) is most remembered for this:
As Wikipedia records:

“Because of the Gulf War situation, this marked the first time the Super Bowl would be telecast in most countries around the world. Outside of North America and England, this Super Bowl was broadcast for the first time in such countries as Australia, Russia, and most other countries. Whitney Houston performed “The Star-Spangled Banner,” backed by The Florida Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Jahja Ling. With America involved in the Gulf War,the positive response to the rousing performance was overwhelming, and it was released as a single and a video. It reached the number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 – making her the only act to turn the National Anthem into a pop hit of that magnitude.Houston’s rendition was critically acclaimed and largely regarded as one of the best renditions of the U.S. National Anthem in history.”

It’s Time, Again: Richard.Vincent.Rose.: “THE EAGLE STILL FLIES (UNDER STAR SPANGLED SKIES) A NEW ANTHEM FOR AMERICA

We want to share with you “The Eagle Still Flies (Under Star Spangled Skies),” A New Anthem For America, which was written as a Memorial after the events of September 11, 2001.
Now, even though it is years later, recent events remind us of how precious our liberty and freedom are, and how much what really makes America … hasn’t changed.
I agree with a statement the President made during a memorial service, at a church in Boston, last week. He talked about how there is a little bit of Boston in all of us. We love Boston, too, and I don’t know anyone who has visited the city, ever, who doesn’t love “the city.”
The cradle of liberty will continue to “Rock ‘on.”
And … The Eagle Still Flies …

We’ll give you a reprinted story about the poem/anthem, and then encourage you to enjoy, and feel, “The Eagle Still Flies (Under Star Spangled Skies)-A New Anthem For America:

Note: The following is reprinted with permission:

To explain why he wrote “The Eagle Still Flies (Under Star Spangled Skies),” and the real purpose behind the poem, here are the words of Richard.Vincent.Rose.:

“All Americans were deeply affected by the events of September 11, 2001. We celebrate the efforts of a nation that is not joined because of the event, but a nation that was joined before the event. We commemorate, remind, honor, and celebrate all that this nation represents-before, during, and after the events of September 11. The true heroes and hope of America-who came to the forefront before that day, on that day, and on each day thereafter.

This poem is very personal, for I love New York, and I love America. I can’t envision one without the other. The city, like the country, is not comprised of boroughs, but brothers. We wish to pay special honor to the men and women who are proudly serving America in the Armed Services, and offer this poem to bring hope, comfort, and pride to all Americans. Everywhere.

Daniel Webster said that, ‘God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.’ And, before him, it was Thomas Paine who said, ‘The cause of America is, in a great measure, the cause of all mankind. Had it not been for America, there had been no such thing as freedom left in the whole universe.'”

In a statement made to The National September 11 Memorial & Museum At The World Trade Center, Richard.Vincent.Rose. wrote:
“I applaud the efforts to build the Memorial, and in joining all Americans together in the cause, knowing that it will take a national labor to give birth to such a noble child.”

THE EAGLE STILL FLIES (UNDER STAR SPANGLED SKIES)
 
A NEW ANTHEM FOR AMERICA

The sun came up this morning
Over a land still brave and free
Its borders still strong and standing
Against all tyranny
It seems just yesterday-I remember so well
As the morning dew slept on the towers that fell
The skies were so clear, the sunlight so bright
But evil’s conscience couldn’t sleep
And was awake through the night

And everyone can recall when they first heard the news
And no one was sure how much more we would lose
Then, through the ashes, the smoke, and the flame
We realized this country would never be the same

The towers left standing
Are the towers within
The twin towers of liberty and freedom, my friend
Perched on top of these towers, the eagle will rise
To bring peace and justice to the world’s crying eyes

And the eagle still flies
Under star spangled skies
And we still trust in God
But we won’t spare the rod
And we still say the pledge
Faith and courage
Give us the edge
And the eagle will soar
‘Cause we’re free evermore
From the hills to the shore
Yes! We’re free evermore

The eagle still flies under star spangled skies
And our hope never dies
‘Cause the eagle still flies
 

Nations will rise
Buildings will fall
But there’s still one nation standing
That will answer the call
And we won’t run and hide
In our flag we still take pride
‘Cause freedom will win
Liberty we’ll defend
Through the smoke, through the fire
The wings of justice fly higher
Over canyon and tundra and treetops and sand
The fires of freedom’s victory have been fanned

From the streets on our soil
To lands across the sea
On freedom’s wings we will ride
For the whole world to see
The strength, the power, of liberty

And the eagle still flies
Under star spangled skies
And we still trust in God
But we won’t spare the rod
And we still say the pledge
Faith and courage give us the edge
And the eagle will soar
‘Cause we’re free evermore
From the hills to the shore
Yes! We’re free evermore

The eagle still flies
Under star spangled skies
And our hope never dies
‘Cause the eagle still flies

Richard.Vincent.Rose.