Home Of The Brave

By Sarah Sanchez

My family and I went to a baseball game together a few years ago. A talented singer sang the Star Spangled Banner beautifully, as usual. I’ve heard this song countless times before. I’ve done the Pledge of Allegiance every day since I started school. These songs were routine, just another part of the agenda when we attend a public event.

However, this baseball game was suddenly different because I happened to look over at my mom during the Star Spangled Banner song. There she was singing along to the song, smiling, and with tears in her eyes. I asked her why she was crying and she said she always cries during that song because she remembers the day she officially became a citizen of this great country.

My mom was born in Mexico and she came to this country with her family when she was a little girl. She said she’s grateful to live in this country because her family looked for a better life here in America, and that’s what they received. She said she will always remember the day she became a citizen: waving the little flag and hearing the National Anthem play. She said that every time she years that song, she’s reminded of that exact day.

I was truly touched by that moment at the baseball game because it’s such a routine to hear that song for us natural born citizens. Some of us will sing along because we’ve heard the song so much, some will cheer after the singer hits that amazing high note, and some of us will just clap in approval because the song was performed well.

But what we don’t realize is that this song means more than just something to be played at a sporting event. This song is our national anthem; it represents our country; it represents the freedom we have that many around the world don’t; and it represents the many brave soldiers that have risked and lost their lives for that freedom.

We live in a great country, despite the flaws we may have. We live in a fortunate country with a lot of opportunity, despite that fact that most of us inherited that fortune by just being born here. So every time we hear that Star Spangled Banner song, it should be more than just a routine. We should sing that song with pride, listening to and meaning every single word…It should remind us of how fortunate we are to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.