By Lorry Myers
My sister brought my mother for a visit and I invited them to lunch, or rather, brunch, at a local diner. The place was newly opened and I had never eaten there but it was easy to park and easy to help my mother get inside. When the friendly waitress asked where we wanted to sit, I looked around to see what was available.
We were the only ones there.
The Weather Channel was on a big screen TV and I could hear something playing in the background. The menu was a book and it took us awhile but since it was before noon, we all settled on breakfast.
The most important meal of the day.
Our waitress was attentive, our food came out quickly and was just the way we ordered it. We were in the middle of the meal when I heard a sound, a song actually. The tune was so familiar, I put down my fork to listen.
The Star-Spangled Banner.
I glanced back to the TV, thinking the channel had changed to a ball game and our national anthem was kicking it off. The Weather Channel was still on and I quickly understood that the song was coming from a speaker that sat behind the counter.
That’s not all I noticed.
There, in the middle of the restaurant, were all of the staff. They were standing still, their hands over their hearts and unhurried looks on their faces. The words to that familiar song were clear and I realized the cook and the waitresses were faintly singing along, singing not for a stadium of people, or a sporting event.
They were singing for themselves.
I was transfixed by their faces and the passion I saw as these employees stood with their hands over their hearts. This was not a show, or an act, or any sort of political statement. There was no drama in their stance, no appearance of defiance or protest to be found.
This, was not that.
I felt something that day, something that hasn’t stirred in me for a while. What I was watching was a show of respect and love for a country that desperately needs it right now. There were no political candidates here, no speeches were made or promises given.
This, was more than that.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.