I have always considered myself to be very patriotic.  Despite the issues we may have and the disagreements we have, I truly believe this is the greatest country on the planet.

Because of this, I am super proud that our local radio stations play the Star Spangled Banner each day at noon.  It is our way of showing that we all love our country and (I have found) it serves as a reminder to some people that it is time to break for lunch.

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of making an appearance at a United Way Day of Caring at Augusta's Farrington School.

For those who are not familiar with the program, the students at participating schools take part in projects throughout the community.  Generally, the younger students spend the day working around the school itself, while the older students hop on buses to work on projects throughout town.  As a reward, the students get a BBQ lunch put on by EJP.

Generally, a member of our on-air team has the opportunity to play music for the students during their lunch.  On that day, it was my turn.  I rolled up to where I was supposed to park, took the speakers out of the vehicle, and turned on the radio.

The kids who were not eating at that particular time were gathered around the station vehicle, dancing to the music.  Like kids do, they danced to all the songs, even the slow ones.

At noon, we played the national anthem.  Standing there, I was silent, but I did not think much about it.  It is something we do every day.

What happened next, shocked me.

A few seconds into the song, I noticed a hush had fallen over the crowd.  The laughing and talking had been replaced by complete SILENCE.  Most of the kids stood, many had their hands over their hearts.  This was not something their teachers told them to do.  As far as I could tell, they did this on their own.

It was very moving to see kids at that age show a real respect for our country.

I am not going to tell you that I was bawling like a baby, but I definitely did shed a tear or two at the sight.

It seems only appropriate to share this story on the weekend that we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

I have a short message for those kids.  Please, as you get older, never lose that love for our country.

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