July 13, 2016

Learn the words

This past Friday, my family and I took in a Texas Ranger's baseball game.  As I was leaving work early to beat the traffic to the ballpark, several co-workers commented on the perceived danger of going to a large gathering of people the day after the shooting in Dallas.  I was just a little taken aback by the fact that there was no noticeable increase in security.  In fact, to my youngest son's delight, just after entering the stadium, he was handed a weapon plastic bat and ball as part of a giveaway promotion.  More damage was done to parents by errant bat swipes than anything else that evening.

Friday night's other promotion was a Texas A&M 'University Day'.  The Ranger's marketing office came up with this promo a few years back, partnering with various colleges to use their alumni and student networks to help sell tickets.  They hand out nice ball caps in the university colors, with a Ranger's 'T' on the front, and the school logo on the side.  It takes the brotherhood of the home team's fans one step further, and is quite enjoyable.  Except when the idiot running the music cuts off the last stanza of the Aggie War Hymn, but maybe the person that made that decision also created the graphic with the words to our National Anthem.

How far gone are we, that we have to display the lyrics to our National Anthem as it is played?  What is it that we are doing in schools, that there is no longer the time, or expectation, for children to learn the words to our anthem and pledge?  Or is it that there is no desire among those who set curriculum, to ingrain in our youth, a love of country?

During the pregame ceremonies, 150 Air Force ROTC members filed onto the infield and took their oath of enlistment.  And there they remained for the anthem, where the panning camera showed their faces and still mouths during the song.

And that school song I mentioned earlier - the Aggie War Hymn - all the people that sang their hearts out to that must have gone to the restroom en masse, as the participation and volume of the school song far outpaced that of our National Anthem.

Stand up and sing, people!

My opinion of humanity was slightly redeemed after the game.  On the walk back to our car, there wasn't a single police officer that was ignored - people expressed appreciation, shook hands with them, hugged them (though the whole 'hug-a-cop' thing is a little ill-timed - I saw a few startled faces).

While it was nice to see that side of people, I am still disappointed that we have failed our youth so thoroughly in the patriotism department.  Well, not 'we', my kids know better!

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