But when we began singing the service hymns, ladies sang along and stood during their favorite song with tears in their eyes. “The Caisson Song” for the Army, went right into “Anchors Away” for the Navy. We soared with “The Air Force Song,” and, starting softly and ending with a roar, the "Marine’s Hymn."
What I saw was the love they had not only for the husbands, sons and friends who served in the armed forces, but for all servicemen who sacrificed for our country. That love came to the surface and trickled down their faces in tears. I could feel their pride, their sorrow, their love. It was a connection unlike any I had ever felt while singing.
We then went into a resounding version of “God of our Fathers” and when we began singing “The Pledge of Allegiance” one by one, everyone came to their feet. Some with hands over their hearts, tears streaming down their cheeks and looking out the windows to the sky. I felt my own tears well up, but kept on singing through to the last line: “…liberty and justice for all.”
What a unique and marvelous moment. My father, the Air Corps Vet and lifelong singer likely knew that feeling. I felt his hand on my shoulder telling me, “Well done.”