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. To this day, I still remember that day and that statement.

My mom was born in Mexico and she came to this country with her family when she was a young girl. Her family looked for a better life here in America and she said that’s what they received. She says she will always remember the day she became a citizen, where she waved the little flag they gave her and heard the Star Spangled Banner for the first time. She said the National Anthem reminds her of that day every time.

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 clap because the singer actually sang the song well.

But what we don’t realize is that this song means more than just something to be played at a baseball game. This song is our national anthem. It represents our country and it represents the freedom we have that many around the world don’t. And it represents the many 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. And it should remind us of how fortunate we are to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.