From A Chaplain In Iraq…

For those of who are unaware, at a military theater, the National Anthem is played before every movie.

From a Chaplain in Iraq :

I recently attended a showing of “Superman 3,” here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as memorial services and other large gatherings. As is the custom back in the States, we stood and snapped to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going as planned until about three-quarters of the way through the National Anthem the music stopped.

Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments; and everyone would sit down and call for a movie. Of course , that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.

Here, the 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand and at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again. The Soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. And again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect to happen? Even here I would imagine laughter, as everyone finally sat down and expected the movie to start.

But here, you could have heard a pin drop. Every Soldier continued to stand at attention. Suddenly there was a lone voice, then a dozen, and quickly the room was filled with the voices of a Thousand Soldiers, finishing where the recording left off:

“And the rockets’ red glare, The bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night That our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

It was the most inspiring moment I have had here in Iraq . I wanted you to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you here.

By Chaplain Jim Higgins, LSA Anaconda Balad Airport, Iraq.

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~ by bohography on February 18, 2008.

2 Responses to “From A Chaplain In Iraq…”

  1. I have a son, a Captain currently serving in the Army at LSA Anaconda in Iraq, if he was fortunate to be able to be present I could imagine Alex being among those singing Our National Anthem. Chaplain Higgins I was so moved by your example that sir I am asking permission to send your story of what happened to my local newspaper (my son gets it sent to him on a regular basis.)
    very Respectfully, Bill Graziano Athol,MA

  2. I spent a year operating out of LSA Anaconda as a 42 year old National Guard Pilot. The 18-20+ year old men and women never ceased to amaze me with their professionalism and maturity. The people who serve in our armed forces are a reflection of our society, with the same problems and faults, but our professional volunteers are not the same kids you see hanging out at the mall. Our country should know this, and be proud that they servr us.

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