Throughout history, men and women have died to secure the freedoms and prosperity that we enjoy in this country, yet how do we respect the fallen and our nation when our national anthem is played? By yelling unnecessary chants and making unnecessary noise. It?s not the cheering during the last line that gets to me, after all, the game is about to begin; it?s the noise half way through that I can?t stand.
I have seen with my own eyes how poor developing countries can be, and believe me, you don?t want that life. I have seen people live in shanties and mud huts along highways and under bridges and on sea walls and city streets. This isn?t some African country or Asian province that?s far away from home; this is Brazil, a nation in our own hemisphere with its own struggling democracy, trying to recover from years of governmental corruption and dictatorship where its citizens were the victims. My father, just like the mothers and fathers of countless students here at Virginia Tech I am sure, spent his time in the Middle East fighting this war on terror. On the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, he called my mother at our home, then in Warner Robins, Ga., and said "Honey, I don?t know when I will be back. I love you." Luckily he came back; many don?t. Yes, we are lucky to live in this country and enjoy the lavish freedoms we have worked so hard for. Why, then, do people make the disrespectful chants and noise they do during the national anthem? Is it cool? Does it make you look intimidating or fashionable? I think not. The expense of our freedom has been too high to allow this type of carrying on to continue.
To the group of season ticket holders constantly yelling "Play Wipeout," (which we won?t, by the way) I have one thing to say: Shut up and let the honored sing our national anthem uninterrupted. Don?t bark or do whatever the hell it is you?re doing; let them sing. Show the respect that they, our country, our fallen and our freedom deserve; show what it really means to be a Hokie and a proud American.