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The American Team
Monday, March 7, 2016

Before almost every sporting event, one hears the call “Ladies and gentlemen, please rise, gentlemen remove your hats, for the playing of the National Anthem”.  However, do you know who wrote the National Anthem?  Do you know what war spurred the inspiration behind the words?  Do you know the meaning behind the song?  If the answer is “No” to any of these questions, just ask a BNL Star baseball player or coach to help you answer them.  

On Monday, March 7th, the BNL baseball and NSWC Crane teamed up for an educational experience.  First Lt. Mike Lemmons and Staff Sergeant Steve Wilkerson educated the players and coaching staff about the National Anthem.  Francis Scott Key penned the National Anthem the morning after the battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812.  The emotions Key felt as the bombing continued through the night were captured in the famous words we sing with national pride.   Both service men spoke to the group of players about what the National Anthem meant to them.  They also discussed with the boys about the proper way to stand at attention, face the flag, place your right hand or hat over your heart, and keep your left hand at your side.  When you come see the Stars play this year, you will notice a new attitude about the way the Stars approach the playing of the National Anthem.  The Stars will stand with toes on foul line while following the directions of attention provided by Lt. Lemmons.  Players are taught that there should be no swaying, chewing gum, talking to your neighbor, or spitting seeds during the anthem.  At the conclusion of the Anthem, the Stars will hold to a two-count and then break to the field or dugout.  The little things make a difference.  It is essential for our young people to understand the importance of the National Anthem and to pay respect to those who are willing to fight for the freedoms that we enjoy. 

 We are a part of the BNL Baseball team, but as Lt. Lemmons mentioned, we are a part of the greatest team in the world, the American Team.  I would like to thank Angie Lewis and Pamela Ingram of NSWC Crane for helping set up the presentation.  Thanks also to Lt. Mike Lemmons and Staff Sergeant Steve Wilkerson for taking their time to educate the BNL Baseball program about the National Anthem.