There are certain things you need to do to demonstrate respect for your country and those who risked their lives defending it.
It doesn't require much. Just stand still and shut up.
Thursday night, at Spencer's wrestling dual with Cherokee and Estherville-Lincoln Central, I watched with my blood pressure elevating as a group of junior high girls decided to turn the National Anthem into a comedy routine.
As Daly Tighe delivered a beautiful rendition of the song, most in the gym stood silently. Some proudly sang along, hand over their heart, as is an accepted tradition. Others stood quietly, moving their lips to the words, with their hands at their sides, showing the proper respect for the red white and blue.
Then there were the girls. One waving her arms, making boisterous gestures to entertain her friends, who laughed and joined in on the frivolity. Perhaps they weren't the only ones, but they were the only ones I saw.
This isn't an isolated incident. You see it in the student sections at football games and other sporting events as well.
The National Anthem is not a moment to entertain your friends. As a matter of fact it's just the opposite.
You remove your hat from your head and you stand quietly. Sing along respectfully if you choose. Don't insult the performer of this song by acting like a fool. Don't demonstrate such little respect for our veterans.
I get it. We're talking about kids and sometimes kids behave immaturely. Because they are. But I've tried to teach my children proper etiquette during such moments. My father and my wife's father have both served in the armed forces. Showing respect to the flag and honoring this country is something expected in our house.
I would encourage parents and grandparents to take a moment to explain the importance of this brief demonstration of respect. I'm sure the majority of the kids understand. For the most part, our young people are standing still and behaving appropriately. But for those who aren't, it presents a picture that fits the term "ugly Americans."