Despite being damn hard to sing, The Star-Spangled Banner stirs considerable passion deep in the cockles of many Americans.
Take Justin Schill, for example.
Schill is the parent of a student at Brookside High School on the far west side of Cleveland, local ABC affiliate WEWS-TV reports.
He was attempting to enjoy a Brookside High basketball game when he saw some of these kids today chatting and laughing and generally having too swell of a time during the customary presentation of the national anthem.
Schiller was “absolutely infuriated” by what he perceived as disrespect for the song expressing America’s very patriotic soul, he wrote on his Facebook page.
He decided to approach the kids and give them his version of the what-for.
The confrontation got Schiller kicked out of the game.
A few days later, he received a letter from the Brookside High principal informing him that he would be banned from school athletic events for all of 2015.
When Schill vented about the incident and the result on Facebook, a tempest of some 400 comments ensued. Many of the commenters supported the mad dad.
“He had every right to do what he did and the school should respect that,” local resident Bridgette Zarelli opined, according to WEWS.
Another resident, Bob Lydon, said it’s important to take pride in any performance of America’s national anthem.
“Take your hats off, put your hand over your heart and be respectful to the flag,” Lydon urged.
Still other commenters opposed the severity of the one-year ban imposed on Schill.
Schill also took his concerns to local school district superintendent Michael Cook. After a meeting, Cook reduced the ban from one year to a single basketball game.
Hubbub about the national anthem is often at hand across the fruited plain. The last big kerfuffle occurred when CNN warned viewers in ominous bold font atop a two-tone black background that they were “about to hear an excerpt of the national anthem” just before a perfectly heartwarming, patriotic story during the week of Veterans Day. (RELATED: CNN Warns America: You Are About To Hear The NATIONAL ANTHEM)
For a non-depressing national anthem story, there is always that time in 2003 when Maurice Cheeks, then the coach of the Portland Trailblazers, completely heroically aided 13-year-old Natalie Gilbert after she forgot the words of the song right around the words “At the twilight’s last gleaming.”