The only time I ever really stood at attention was for marching band.
I was in color guard, so I guess I never stood at a real attention—3rd position is a little weak for that.
I was a freshman.
The rest of us were already on the concrete practice field running a set.
Lester Seagraves showed up late to early morning practice, as usual.
But this time, he walked up to the band director, whispered something in his ear, and didn’t get yelled at for the first time ever.
We were still standing at attention, waiting for our next directive.
And we continued to do so as the old army sergeant turned band director spoke to us about the morning’s events.
At that point, I don’t think any of us really understood the weight of what we were being told. The rest of the day would be filled with little studying and much news.
I don’t remember the content of any homework—if we even had any.
But I will never forget that day.
Where I was.
Who was there.
What I was told…
Since then, the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance hold more meaning.
When they are sang or spoken, I find myself back on that concrete slab.
Holding my flag.