God Bless America: Now And Always
ESPN’s Rob Neyer and SNY’s Ted Berg started a small firestorm when they suggested that baseball discontinues the singing of “God Bless America” at ballparks in an attempt to shorten the game. And while most of their colleagues agree with them, I see no problem with taking a couple of short minutes to remember the tragedy that first started the tradition, and to pay our respects to the brave men and women who continue to put their lives in harms way ever since that fateful day.
Ted does suggest replacing it with “America the Beautiful” which I don’t have a problem with, but to just cut it altogether, as Neyer suggests, just to shorten the game makes little practical sense and is mostly insensitive.
What is so wrong with instilling a sense of patriotism, pride and love of country for a couple of minutes during the seventh inning stretch of our National Pastime? Especially when those tuned in via television at home get bombarded with beer and car commercials anyway?
For a brief moment in time, fans of both teams and the players themselves all become one symbolic representation of the greatest country in the world, the United States of America. A fitting reminder to terrorists everywhere that their attempt to destroy our dreams and ideals amounted to an epic fail.
The song is sung in between innings and I don’t understand how putting an end to such a small but thoughtful way of honoring the victims of 9/11 and our military, could make any impact on the length of the game anyway.
Nobody is being forced to stand or sing if they don’t want to, and that’s the underlying beauty of being an American of course.
How many of us take the time each day to stop and say “thank you” to our nation’s true heroes in the military?
I can honestly say that I don’t, and that’s why I appreciate it when the ballpark announcer reminds us to remember and honor them before the start of the song.
When I hear ”God Bless America” during a ballgame it reminds me of those who continue to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can continue to live the American Dream.
I imagine that during those rare instances when our soldiers can actually watch a game, that something stirs inside of them whenever they see thousands of their fellow Americans standing in their honor. It must make them feel so good inside to know that they are still in our thoughts and prayers and that their country has not forgotten them. For that reason alone we must continue this tradition. It’s the least we can do for them after all they have done and continue to do for us.
As long as this country is at war to protect our freedom, and the freedom of countries that are too weak to defend themselves against evil and tyranny, we should continue this thoughtful token of our appreciation for the greatest military in the world.
God Bless America!
I know from my emails and comments on this site, that we have many members of the military among our readers. We would love to know how you feel about the singing of “God Bless America” at the ballpark during the seventh inning stretch.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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