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Star Spangled Salute

April 20, 2011 - Michael Palmer
A recent column on the national anthem highlighted some of the local versions of the Star Spangled Banner from basketball season.

In the column, I was season oriented and neglected to mention the Bellaire girls softball team, who before each home game gather on the mound and sing the national anthem.

Their ball field is not equipped with a sound system, so this is a very nice gesture and I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge their patriotism.

I would like to say that these girls are softball players, some of whom may be choir members, but most are not singers. They are out there to honor our nation and I, for one would like to thank them and say how much I appreciate their efforts.

I have overheard some opposing players and fans who have made derogatory remarks about this pregame singing, I hope they remember just what is occurring on the field and in the future regard it with the proper respect.

Their coach said jokingly after the game that they were looking to recruit a soprano for next season. To insure the high notes at the end were strong.

I also wanted to thank Shadyside baseball coach Mike Meintel for organizing a salute to veterans before the Tigers’ game with Linsly last Friday.

The Tigers donned special military style camouflage uniforms and a giant American Flag was carried onto the field by the high school principal along with local and student volunteers to be displayed during the National Anthem before the first pitch, which was ceremonially thrown out by a pair of local veterans.

The Tigers' head baseball coach also invited veterans from the village of Shadyside to the game.

For more info on the game check: ‘Shadyside baseball to honor veterans’ in our online Sports section.

The gallery for the event on CU is titled: Shadyside Baseball Veterans Game. One of my favorite photos form the pregame ceremonies was featured on the front page. Vietnam veteran Ed Des Lauriers saluted and then exchanged a special camouflage jersey for a signed baseball from Tigers' pitcher Logan Hudson.

It was a moment that Vietnam veterans cherish, after so much hatred for them after the conflict had ended amidst protests from anti-war activists. It was very heart warming to see these veterans honored by the crowd and these high school boys, some of whom will also go on to serve their country.


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