Security guards at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City ordered a North Carolina middle school choir to stop its rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” this week because, as one guard explained, such an outburst of patriotism honoring dead Americans requires a permit.
Facebook user Connie Shepherd Scanlon posted video of the incident on Wednesday.
“WMS chorus singing @ Twin Towers Memorial,” Scanlon wrote. “They stopped them half the way thru. You can’t sing the national anthem. So sad this is happening everywhere. They sounded great. God Bless America!”
The students, who attend Waynesville Middle School in the small, hilly town of Waynesville, N.C., were visiting New York City for a multiday educational trip, reports Asheville, N.C. ABC affiliate WLOS-TV.
“Basically they performed approximately half of the national anthem, and they were told by security to cease and desist,” Waynesville Middle School principal Trevor Putnam told the station. “And they, of course, complied immediately.”
The 9/11 Memorial’s rules state that anyone who wants to sing on the site of the memorial must first obtain a permit. One of the adults with the group said that a security guard had told the Waynesville students and their choral conductor that it was okay to sing the hymn to freedom and heroism that expresses America’s patriotic soul.
There are many other rules for 9/11 Memorial visitors. All told, the 9/11 Memorial’s set of rules and regulations contains 4,378 words.
By way of comparison, the U.S. Constitution contains about 4,500 words.
The multitude of rules proscribes bags of certain sizes, bans all sports-related activity (and chewing gum, and bathing and gambling) and forces large groups to select a “group leader.” Also, absolutely no flowers to honor anyone who died.
“I hate that our kids didn’t get to finish,” Putnam, the school principal, told WLOS-TV.
“They have angelic voices and I love to hear them sing,” the principal added.
Americas’ damn-hard-to-sing national anthem is never far from the news. In 2015, for example, a parent in the suburbs of Cleveland was kicked out a high school baseball game after he became “absolutely infuriated” by some of these kids today chatting and laughing and generally having too swell of a time during the customary presentation of the national anthem. The mad dad decided to approach the kids and give them his version of the what-for. (RELATED: Dad BANNED From Games After Telling Kids To Shut Up During The National Anthem)
In 2014, CNN put a trigger warning before a downright tearjerker story — during the week of Veterans Day — entitled “Sailor mom surprises daughter at school” because the story featured “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Prior to CNN’s presentation of the video, a warning message appeared for several seconds in bold font atop a two-tone black background. “Please be advised you are about to hear an excerpt of the national anthem,” the warning declared. (CNN Warns America: You Are About To Hear The NATIONAL ANTHEM)