Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When the Music Stopped

OK, I'm a little late for a 4th of July topical. Only yesterday did I receive this e-mail -- and felt compelled to share it here, in it's original, unedited form:

To understand this story, you need to know that, in military theaters, the National Anthem is played before every movie.

This was written by Chaplain Jim Higgins, who is stationed in Iraq:

I recently attended a showing of "Superman 3" here at LSA Anaconda (an American base camp north of Baghdad). 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 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. Remember them as they fight for you!

Pass this along as a reminder to others to be ever in prayer for all our soldiers serving us here at home and abroad. For many have already paid the ultimate price.


  1. This is very moving, indeed. Yes, let's cover our military in prayer every day and thank them for keeping us safe!

  2. Goose bumps happening here.A lovely story.

  3. I just sent this to my son who was deployed to Europe in the army this year. I hope he enjoys it...thanks for posting it!


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