The Reason I Cry During The National Anthem

Happy Independence Day! ( Farm Journal )

The following content is commentary and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went to the Reno Rodeo. We were guests of the Northern Nevada Dairymen’s Association, who has for several years been a sponsor of the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo In The West.” As the American flag came into the arena carried by a girl dressed in sequins and perched on a horse, tears began streaming down my face as the melody to the famous song “Proud To Be An American” started playing through the arena speakers. As another flag girl stared at me in confusion, tears continued while a young girl from Carson City sang the national anthem. 

This is nothing new for me. I cry during the national anthem almost every time I hear it. To put that in context, I live close enough to Naval Air Station Fallon that I hear the national anthem play nearly every morning at 8 a.m. 

Why the tears that night? 

Not because our country is experiencing pain, anger and hate right now, although that is certainly true. Not because for months immigrant children were being taken from their parents while they were trying to seek safety and the same freedoms my great grandfather sought in coming to America, although that is also true. And, as a mother I’ve prayed through many tears on many days for those families. I didn’t cry then out of fear of what lies ahead for friends, family and our economy as we wade into the volatile waters of trade war, although that is certainly a concern. 

That night I cried in part because all across this country, there are families who want nothing more than to grow food for their neighbors. They want to produce milk for their kids and your kids. They want to provide jobs in rural areas and sponsor little league teams and pass out cheese sticks during the Fourth of July parade. 

And you know what? Every day they are being told by their bank account that they can’t do that anymore. 

Every day more dairies are going out of business. It’s happening for a multitude of reasons and there isn’t an easy solution to making it stop, but you should know that all they want to do is feed you, and take care of their cows, and live the life they’ve dreamed of and loved since they were children and they can’t. 

I cry during the national anthem because I love our country. Despite all the messiness, pain, hate and anger, our sweet country is a land of opportunity and privilege. One of prosperity and hope. At her best, she fights for justice and peace, and provides a safe haven and refuge for the weary.  

See, for me, the national anthem is tied specifically to one day that I get the privilege of reliving over and over. It was March 2002 and I was in the 8th grade. I was in New York City to sing with my middle school choir as part of the 2002 National Children’s Choir. We decided to visit ground zero and once we arrived determined the most appropriate thing in that moment would be to sing the national anthem. So our group of 12 started singing. Much to our surprise, the rescue workers stopped what they were doing and turned their attention to the flag flying high above the rubble. What’s more, a man wearing a WWII Veteran’s cap and sitting in a wheel chair stood up with tears in his eyes and saluted the flag. 

Every time I hear that sweet melody I see that man’s face. I see the pride, the love and the sacrifice he made for his country and I’m overcome with gratitude that I had the privilege of being born in America. 

Gratitude. That’s why I cry during the national anthem, and I hope you do too.


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Submitted by Beth Casillas on Thu, 07/05/2018 - 12:49

I too cry and could never put an explanation in words. Thank you.

Submitted by bob on Thu, 07/05/2018 - 14:35

well said. My father was a ww2 vet also. Much of his service was classified so he would not talk about it until shortly before he passed. The carnage of that war is not really comprehended by other generations. He told me of flying missions and sometimes only half of the guys made it back, then they did it all over again and the same thing happened. That was their lot. Your training kept you doing the right thing while trying not to think of your own mortality. You put your head down and kept going. I was taught anything was possible if you lived your life that way. Keep your head down, work hard. Never give up. It got his generation through the depression and through WW2. Unfortunately his generation had a hard time understanding people who complained and had not faced the same adversity. But knowing what that generation went through it is hard to not see us as soft. My mom used to share her school lunch with a boy who had no mother, a drunk for a father and brought ear corn to school to eat. Hard corn was good for the animals so the kid figured it would keep him going. People survived back then and made it through. Back then if you wanted to come to America you had to have someone agree to sponsor you and make good on all your debt. You had to be healthy and capable of work. Those were the rules. Now people complain if the rules are enforced. International law mandates asylum seekers do so in the neighboring country. Not cross hundreds of miles to the one they want to go to. No one talks about the child endangerment the parents have engaged in by exposing their children to child traffickers, rapists, extreme conditions along the way. In america you leave your child in a hot car and you go to jail. But we look the other way and instead blame our own government when it is the parents who are to blame for the situation with illegal immigrants. I hear people say they do jobs american's won't, which i know is a lie. In California there used to be landscapers who were of many different nationalities. But then illegals came and those others went out of business as they were undercut on price. I had a neighbor who had a roof installed by primarily black workers, 10 years later the same company had all hispanics. I have walked beans, picked peaches, built fence, cut thistles all day long. My parents did the same well into their 70s. We need to recognize a country without borders and laws is no longer a country.

Submitted by Ann Pray on Thu, 07/05/2018 - 17:10

I applaud and appreciate the reply made by Bob. We have had an amazing run as a Free Country, with values that have made us progress through So Many Modern Advances and Hard Times. A Chinese saying states that One Generation plants the Trees, the next enjoys the Shade and it brings tears to my eyes as well as I think what sacrifices were made to have what we've had!! But can we keep it? One early President asked that question because it isn't just a joyride of lying in that wonderful "Shade". It's amazing how many new soft attitudes have been vocalized in the media, and highlighted in news shots to make complaining and blaming seem so ok.
My family immigrated legally, as did the majority of immigrants in past years as one looks through genealogy records and documents. Our neighbors' parents immigrated legally as did near all people I know personally did when they too came to this great "Melting Pot of the World" as the nickname was described. And they were escaping famines and persecutions and difficulties too! And they came in legally and built something better. Tons of stories! My Dearest friend included. Expecting people to obey laws -- when did that become soft? And if that law is soft, which other laws do we run over and ignore on our way to chaos? And how about the people that came in illegally -- are we magically expecting that they will obey our other laws once they are here? More laws will have to be broken to stay -- what are they teaching their kids? What will this all look like in even 30 years?
Will we then swing the pendulum back towards maybe ??? Obeying Laws ???

There are other sad issues that we see weakening our Country as the author addresses, and instead of listening and thinking about what speakers say, it's become more important to decide what we think and do and follow by what political party they are with, or what gender, or what race and follow blindly with their words. What misguided trust we have in those discriminations! Some don't even know what they believe unless someone else tells them! 🙄 And there is a LOT of purposely planned piping coming from self-interested Political Pied Pipers, Tricky Textbook Traitors that print what his Polar opposite to what the documents SAID!! And complete repackaging Proven Bad Practices as New, Cool and Trendy Poison Flavors. It's amazing how much High Profile, In Your Face Lying we have Everywhere!!

And if you are one of them that excuse this because.... well ..... say it.... why?
Sadly you're part of the problem, much to your surprise, because you just followed because he/she said so

If we don't get serious and get back to business, our Soft, Touchy Feely Whining and Complaining, Make Everybody Happy with No Rules, No Consequences, will give us a Whole New Reason for Tears.....

For what we Had, and Lost,


We have a Awesome History as a Country
(In the Documents, Not the Textbooks!
Compare them, And be Amazed!)
Can Keep that, if we Care Enough to


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