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Student choir told by security to stop singing national anthem at 9/11 memorial; reason for mid-song halt unreal

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A few verses into their rendition of the national anthem at New York’s 9/11 memorial, a North Carolina student choir was ordered to cease and desist by security.

The glaring offense that caused the interruption, mid-song? The students did not have a permit to allow such a demonstration of patriotism, WPXI reported.

“Basically, they performed approximately half of the National Anthem and they were told by security to cease and desist,” said Waynesville Middle School principal Trevor Putnam. “And they, of course, complied immediately.”

Video of Wednesday’s attempted performance was posted to Facebook by Connie Shepherd Scanlon, who said the students had received a verbal OK from a security guard. She updated the Facebook post to clarify the information.

“Apparently you need a permit, their Choral director would have NEVER let them sing if she had known,” Scanlon said. “She asked permission from a security guard and he said yes. Their guide told them another school sang a couple of weeks before without a permit. This a great group of kids representing their school and the future of our country. It’s amazing of the response from everyone. I personally think it could have been handled differently.”

A permit is, in fact, required. “The 9/11 Memorial provides space on a limited basis for musical performances by individuals or groups who wish to pay tribute,” the website states, noting that such performances require a permit and a $35 fee.

A permit and fee for students to sing the National Anthem in public?

“I think it’s terrible, being a veteran and such,” said memorial visitor Bill Bright, according to WPXI. “Trying to instill on our youth the history of our country and the importance of our country; what we have here. So why stop them from singing our national anthem?”

Seems like a reasonable question, and one that was echoed on social media.

See a sampling of posts and the video, via Facebook, below.

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Frieda Powers


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