An Incredible Random Act of Patriotism


I can’t think of a better Memorial Day tribute than watching Brett, an American Airlines employee who spontaneously sang the national anthem while working in the airport terminal last fall on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11.  If you have written a Memorial Day tribute, or have read a nice piece that you would like to share, please post it in the comments section.

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“Why would we want to remember such a horrible day when so many people were killed?”

That was the question my husband and I were asked by our seven year-old daughter when attempting to answer her original question, “What is 9/11?”

Ten years later, the events of that day are still difficult to articulate, especially in a non-frightening manner to a small child.  To children her age, normalcy means being at war, removing shoes while being x-rayed at airport security and having intruder drills at school.  It’s hard to explain why people want to hurt us because of our ideology as Americans.

It was my intent not to blog about 9/11 and to reflect and remember in private.  However, in an unusual move, my husband burst through the door yesterday and said, “If you want to blog about something, blog about how very few people are flying an American Flag today.”  I’ll never live this next statement down, but he’s right.

Ours was one of a few houses with an American Flag flying.  Maybe others showed their patriotism by attending a remembrance ceremony, watching the events on television or reflecting in silence.  Ironically, immediately following the events of 9/11, demand was so high for American Flags that manufacturers could not keep up with production.  If a house didn’t have a flag pole, a paper flag was displayed in the window as a sign of patriotism.  Where are all the American Flags now?  We figured the least we could do on Patriot Day was to fly a Flag  in support of our country.

We were also lucky enough to receive the following video taken by my husband’s friend which captures one of the most heart-felt random acts of patriotism I’ve ever seen.  An American Airlines employee known only as “Brett” spontaneously sang the Star Spangled Banner over a loud-speaker at Chicago O’Hare International Airport Sunday morning, bringing dozens of travelers to their feet as they looked on in silence.  Brett has an amazing voice and he used it in an incredible random act of patriotism.  I challenge you to have a dry eye after viewing it.

Thank you Brett.

God Bless America.

© 2011 Terri Spilman

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7 thoughts on “An Incredible Random Act of Patriotism

  1. You’re right. I am crying and…bonus, totally got the chills. Love that guy. And I’m totally with your hubs. Not sure why, when I look around my hood, more don’t fly the flag. Sort of a bummer. But I guess flying a flag isn’t the only way to show your patriotism. Trying to give the benefit of the doubt. But you couldn’t stop me from flying mine—except in horrible weather. I will fly it if I live in the tiniest shack (with my propensity for shoe purchasing, a possibility!) or the largest mansion (um, unlikely), no doubt! Great post!

    • You had a great Memorial Day post today as well. When your book starts flying off the shelves, your gonna have to buy a monster flag to fly at your new monster mansion!

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