During a visit to New York City, the Waynesville Middle School choir sang the National Anthem at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City but only got about halfway through before security guards stopped them, telling the choir director that they needed a permit to perform.
The North Carolina school choir took an educational trip to New York City, and decided to sing the National Anthem just outside the 9/11 Memorial. Groups wishing to perform at the Memorial must first obtain a permit to do so. The choral group did not obtain a permit but did get a verbal consent from a security guard.
About halfway through their rendition of the National Anthem, a security guard stopped them. WLOS reported:
“Basically they performed approximately half of the National Anthem, and they were told by security to cease and desist. And they, of course, complied immediately,” said Waynesville Middle School principal Trevor Putnam.
He added that security “explained to them that they treat that (area) as a burial site.”
Someone on the trip posted the video of the performance on Facebook and others immediately started commenting and sharing. Many say the students shouldn’t have been interrupted.
“I think it’s terrible, being a veteran of such,” said Bill Bright. Marian Anderson agreed, saying, ” That’s just not right, not a good way to promote patriotism.”
Putnam calls in an unfortunate situation. “I hate that our kids didn’t get to finish,” he said.
However, not long after the incident, a spokesman for the 9/11 Memorial Kaylee Skaar said that it was not handled properly by the security:
“We reached out to the school to express our regret for how this was handled and asked the principal to share that with the students.”
The Waynesville Middle School chorus has now been invited back to the Memorial.