August 10, 2010
Take heed, America. The next time you visit Washington, D.C., feel free to stand in awe of the monuments to our greatest leaders, but do not — DO NOT — sing the National Anthem at the Lincoln Memorial. It turns out that doing so is a violation of federal law.
A group of high school students from around the country learned that lesson the hard way on June 25 when they sang the “Star Spangled Banner” at the Lincoln Memorial. A United States Park Police officer told them to pipe down because their singing was considered an illegal demonstration, as Fox News reports. The students, who are members of the Young America’s Foundation, were visiting the city for a conservative leadership conference.
What law, exactly, was being violated? According to Fox News:
U.S. Park Police confirmed that the students were in violation of federal law and their impromptu performance constituted a demonstration in an area that must remain ‘completely content neutral.’”
Evan Gassman, who was one of the attendees, says of the episode:
This is a perfect example of political correctness run amuck. I would hope that displays of patriotism would be encouraged, not censored.
Park police say the students would have been in the clear if they sang 25 steps from where they were standing. Keep that in mind the next time you want to celebrate what America means to you in our nation’s capital.