God Bless America? Do you take off your hat? Why?
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    1. #1
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      God Bless America? Do you take off your hat? Why?

      I'm curious about this. After the kerfuffle a couple of years ago about the proper protocol during the Star Spangled Banner, I figured people would get smarter about what to do during God Bless America, as well. But it seems that we haven't. Seems that when GBA is played at a sporting event, people stand and remove their hats or put their hands over the hearts. I know that they've usually been asked to do so by the public address announcer, but I'm trying to figure out why.

      I don't think there is any "protocal"/rule on this, though there IS for the national anthem (and for Taps). To me, it seems disrespectufl to the national anthem (and to Taps) if we stand and put our hands over our hearts for songs OTHER THAN the anthem and Taps. I think people do it because (a) they are told to, and (b) because everyone around them in doing it, and the best way to not offend the locals is to behave like the locals. Maybe people are doing it out of respect for those who died on 9/11?

      What do you do when GBA is played?

      Let's try to keep the flaming to a minimum, eh?

    2. #2
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      I don't do anything special during it but wouldn't begrudge someone who did. That said, I would expect the appropriate protocal and respect given for the SSB regardless of their actions during GBA.

      Per a colleague who was a Senior Protocol Officer in the Army:

      A color guard can present the colors without the National Anthem being performed. Boy Scouts do it every week in their regular meetings. The National Anthem can be performed without a color guard—schools do it every day. But there is no substitution for the National Anthem. We don’t present the colors to God Bless America or Lift Every Voice and Sing (The Negro National Anthem). These are wonderful patriotic songs, but they are not accorded the same honor as The Star-Spangled Banner.

    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by 2k2S80t6 View Post
      I don't do anything special during it but wouldn't begrudge someone who did. That said, I would expect the appropriate protocal and respect given for the SSB regardless of their actions during GBA.
      do you take off your hat? do you put your hand on your heart? do you remain seated even if the PA announcer directs everyone to stand?

      I don't believe the Giants (baseball) play GBA during the stretch, though I do believe they did during the playoffs (national telecasts). I believe the Yankees still do, but I don't really give a crap about what they Yankees do. Rudy Giuliani will probably have GBA sung during his funeral.

    4. #4
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      ps I'm not picking a fight. I'm just curious how other folks feel.

    5. #5
      Since you brought it up Here are ALL the words:

      While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
      Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
      Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
      As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
      God Bless America,
      Land that I love.
      Stand beside her, and guide her
      Through the night with a light from above.
      From the mountains, to the prairies,
      To the oceans, white with foam
      God bless America, My home sweet home
      God bless America, My home sweet home.


      You see? It is a prayer....to God! Of all things, why would we pray to God?

      Well...some of us believe there actually IS a God...and apparently, most of the 4 fathers did too! They thought enough of God to put his name on our currency...to "swear in a courtroom witness, "so help you God". We even use "so help me God" when a political official is sworn in!

      Yes...I stand up! I stand up to show that I believe in the words of the song. It represents the very foundation on which this country was built. It is a patriotic song that takes us back to the very beginning of why this country was founded...why men were willing to die to protect it....and still do!


      You asked me...so I told you.

      Peace bro
      Bob Kennedy
      University Volvo OSD Mgr
      Charlotte NC
      VOLVO FOR LIFE
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    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      I'm curious about this. I'm trying to figure out why.
      I don't think there is any "protocal"/rule on this, though there IS for the national anthem (and for Taps).
      Geez I toured the American Civil War sites a few years ago and on one tour at the Berkeley Plantation the origin of TAPS was composed. It's out of respect for the fallen soldiers that one removes ones hat and places ones hand over your heart.
      I'm Canadian eh and we do the same here - again out of respect.

      Berkeley Plantation
      See the birthplace of Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and President William Henry Harrison, “Old Tippecanoe.” “Taps” was composed at Berkeley when General George McClellan headquartered 140,000 Union troops there in 1862. An architectural gem, the 1726 Georgian mansion is furnished with rare period antiques. Costumed guides conduct tours of the mansion daily. Lunch is served in the Coach House Tavern. The gift shop has a unique collection of historical mementos and charming gifts. 804-829-6018 or 888-466-6018

    7. #7
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      BIRM.

      George Dill

    8. #8
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      I take my hat off for the Star Spangled Banner out of respect for my country. Honestly, I have never been asked to remove a had during God Bless America.

      Interesting question...
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    9. #9
      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      I'm curious about this. After the kerfuffle a couple of years ago about the proper protocol during the Star Spangled Banner, I figured people would get smarter about what to do during God Bless America, as well. But it seems that we haven't. Seems that when GBA is played at a sporting event, people stand and remove their hats or put their hands over the hearts. I know that they've usually been asked to do so by the public address announcer, but I'm trying to figure out why.

      I don't think there is any "protocal"/rule on this, though there IS for the national anthem (and for Taps). To me, it seems disrespectufl to the national anthem (and to Taps) if we stand and put our hands over our hearts for songs OTHER THAN the anthem and Taps. I think people do it because (a) they are told to, and (b) because everyone around them in doing it, and the best way to not offend the locals is to behave like the locals. Maybe people are doing it out of respect for those who died on 9/11?

      What do you do when GBA is played?

      While there is no official protocal for GBA, I don't believe giving it such honors or equal honors as the Anthem in anyway disrespects or takes away from the Honors afforded the Anthem. There is official protocal for all foreign countries National Anthems and National Ensigns which are afforded the same honor as our own (Salutes, removing your cover or hat and placing your right hand over heart) and in all cases except morning colors (the raising ceremony of our National Anthem) the foreign countries National anthem and ensign is rendered honors first out of respect for that country whether we are in there country or they are in ours and that in no way takes away from the honor afforded to our own. The same thing used to be done in virtually every school in the US for the pledge of allegence every morning, how is that any different? Memebers of the military are required to show the same honors, to the POTUS on down to the lowest ranking officer, war memorials, ships both US and foreign warships as well as foreign dignitaries, officials and officers among other things. What do I do??? Genrally nothing especially while in Uniform, other than coming to attention which is what the standard protocal is for anything that doesn't require an official honor and is optional to show respect towards it or toward others that are showing repsect. Willingly showing respect is not a bad human trait, rather a display of being humble which many Americans in my experience could use some training on.
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    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by slrising View Post
      While there is no official protocal for GBA, I don't believe giving it such honors or equal honors as the Anthem in anyway disrespects or takes away from the Honors afforded the Anthem. There is official protocal for all foreign countries National Anthems and National Ensigns which are afforded the same honor as our own (Salutes, removing your cover or hat and placing your right hand over heart) and in all cases except morning colors (the raising ceremony of our National Anthem) the foreign countries National anthem and ensign is rendered honors first out of respect for that country whether we are in there country or they are in ours and that in no way takes away from the honor afforded to our own. The same thing used to be done in virtually every school in the US for the pledge of allegence every morning, how is that any different? Memebers of the military are required to show the same honors, to the POTUS on down to the lowest ranking officer, war memorials, ships both US and foreign warships as well as foreign dignitaries, officials and officers among other things. What do I do??? Genrally nothing especially while in Uniform, other than coming to attention which is what the standard protocal is for anything that doesn't require an official honor and is optional to show respect towards it or toward others that are showing repsect. Willingly showing respect is not a bad human trait, rather a display of being humble which many Americans in my experience could use some training on.
      I think the rules for the military are different than for civilians. I do not believe a civilian is supposed to remove his hat and put his hand over his heart for a foreign nation's anthem. Of course we still might do it just to not draw attention to ourselves while in that foreign country.

      Same goes over here. No foreigner is obliged to remove his/her hat, etc. for our anthem.

      But I recall that the miliitary has different rules (ie. the hat is part of the uniform and not to be removed, so a salute is used).

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by V70 Brad View Post
      I take my hat off for the Star Spangled Banner out of respect for my country. Honestly, I have never been asked to remove a had during God Bless America.

      Interesting question...
      You need to get yourself to a Yankees game or a playoff game. The P.A. announcers always ask people to stand and remove their hats for GBA, any time I have heard it (but that is only at baseball games - they don't do it at Sharks games)

    12. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by universityvolvoOSD View Post
      Since you brought it up Here are ALL the words:

      While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
      Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
      Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
      As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
      God Bless America,
      Land that I love.
      Stand beside her, and guide her
      Through the night with a light from above.
      From the mountains, to the prairies,
      To the oceans, white with foam
      God bless America, My home sweet home
      God bless America, My home sweet home.


      You see? It is a prayer....to God! Of all things, why would we pray to God?

      Well...some of us believe there actually IS a God...and apparently, most of the 4 fathers did too! They thought enough of God to put his name on our currency...to "swear in a courtroom witness, "so help you God". We even use "so help me God" when a political official is sworn in!

      Yes...I stand up! I stand up to show that I believe in the words of the song. It represents the very foundation on which this country was built. It is a patriotic song that takes us back to the very beginning of why this country was founded...why men were willing to die to protect it....and still do!


      You asked me...so I told you.

      Peace bro
      Bob: and I hope you know I mean no offense when I ask this question. I'm just trying to understand what people do and why. I'm not judging, at all. (except the folks who say you are "required" to stand, etc., because I know that is not correct - though sitting may be impolite, I agree)

      I wonder what Flyers fans did when Kate Smith used to sing it?

    13. #13
      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      I think the rules for the military are different than for civilians. I do not believe a civilian is supposed to remove his hat and put his hand over his heart for a foreign nation's anthem. Of course we still might do it just to not draw attention to ourselves while in that foreign country.

      Same goes over here. No foreigner is obliged to remove his/her hat, etc. for our anthem.

      But I recall that the miliitary has different rules (ie. the hat is part of the uniform and not to be removed, so a salute is used).
      There are no specific rule for civilians but military out of uniform would follow the remove your cover (hat) and place your hand over your heart in all cases, this is basically what a civilian should do as well although not required. Yes in uniform the cover is not removed and a salute is renderd if called for otherwise whether in uniform or out of uniform standing at attention is called for in cases where a salute or covering your heart is not required to display respect. In the military the only time you shouldn't salute or cover your heart would be when the situation would cause confusion or embarrassment to whom or what your honoring or showing repsect towards.
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    14. #14
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      Interesting question. I can't recall exactly what happened the last time I was at an event of some kind, where GBA (or ATB - America the Beautiful) was played instead of the Star-Spangled Banner. But I think in that sort of case, where the other song was clearly being used as a subsitute for the National Anthem, I'd take my hat off, and possibly put my hand over my heart (which is what I do for the SSB), viewing it is a tribute to our flag, etc. But if I just hear GBA or ATB being played (such as at a concert of some kind), I'm not necessarily going to stand.

      But I would also view standing as perhaps less obligatory for GBA or ATB.

      On a separate subject, at parades I stand for every passing-by of the US flag, regardless of whether there is a song being played, or not.

      Side, side story. The song that Finland uses as one of their national songs (Finlandia, by Sibelius??) also appears in our (Methodist) church hymnal, with different lyrics (The revised title is something like God of all the Nations). It will get sung every once in a while during our church services. But the lyrics of this hymn version are so namby-pamby (I really can't think of a better way to describe them), that I can't stop from laughing while singing them:

      This is my song, oh God of all the nations,
      a song of peace for lands afar and mine.
      This is my home, the country where my heart is;
      here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
      but other hearts in other lands are beating
      with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine
      My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
      and sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
      But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
      and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.

      This is my song, thou God of all the nations;
      a song of peace for their land and for mine.

      It's the bolded lines that get to me. I know it's a nice sentiment and all, but the whole "well, our country is nice, but we wouldn't want to offend anybody by implying that other countries aren't just as nice" vibe of it just fractures me...

      I'll start snickering, and my wife has to kick me to get myself serious again.
      Last edited by BlackC70; 02-09-2011 at 01:34 PM.

    15. #15
      I stand for both GBA and the NA...and remove my hat and place my right hand over my heart for the NA....cause I want to~
      Bob Kennedy
      University Volvo OSD Mgr
      Charlotte NC
      VOLVO FOR LIFE
      http://www.universityvolvo.com/volvo...as-program.htm

    16. #16
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      "Thread: God Bless America? Do you take off your hat? Why"

      Why, indeed.

      As with religion, patriotism can darken vision to near sightless.

      "I don't know WHY I do this - I just do.

      Everybody I know does this.

      I was taught to do this.

      This MUST be the thing to do - everybody is doing it.

      Enough?

      No? - OK.

      Take a close look at your beliefs from outside - not from what has been stuffed into your head from birth by well-meaning stuffers (themselves stuffed...)

      Select another person's stated belief that you KNOW to be pure myth and try to decide WHY such a person can hold such an obvious myth.

      Skip the nice guy, I'm OK, you’re OK, and get right down to the meat - this person's head is FOS!

      Here we have in this thread a statement that something is done because "...I choose to do it".

      Really?

      If some dogma has been brainwashing you since birth (yes, this can be a positive and pleasant experience but brainwashing NTL) are you really making a solid decision based on the observable real world?

      To say that you hold a certain belief because not believing it may mean missing out on life after death is complete evidence of your washed brain.

      It is also the foremost fear factor among humans.

      When everybody around you stands, removes their headgear, and mislocates their heart with their right hand you had better damwell stand also.

      Heah?

      George Dill

    17. #17
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      George,
      I take my hat off for your never-surrendering promotion of common sense...




      I think I understand the importance and the leadership of the US in the modern world...I chose the US as the place to root my family and my children as an adult....I sworn my allegiance to this country and became a citizen...but, guys and girls, we do need to take a good look to the degree of fake (IMHO) uber-patriotism we manifest...


      I say "fake" because I see so many people following the ritual without knowing a single thing about the roots of its origin...


      I have not seen such a degree of the patriotic ritualism even in the former USSR and Israel...I bet that we up the countries like North Korea in that respect...not a good sign, if you ask me...
      Last edited by gascos80; 02-09-2011 at 04:09 PM.

    18. #18
      George...I assume your comments are directed "near" me. I guess if you were directing them AT me you would have used my name!

      Skip the nice guy, I'm OK, you’re OK, and get right down to the meat - this person's head is FOS!


      So this how you think of those who demonstrate their feelings???? FOS??? Brainwashed???
      I do not have to offer my reasons for feeling like I do to you....
      I have no comment George. You have your thoughts ...I have mine.
      Bob Kennedy
      University Volvo OSD Mgr
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      VOLVO FOR LIFE
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    19. #19
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      as to standing for GBA, do people stand because they think they are honoring those who died on 9/11? or is it to honor the men and women of our armed forces engaged in an ongoing war?
      or is it bwecause everyone around us is doing it (i.e., 7th Inning Stretch and we aren't actually certain of why we are standing)

      I know that I fall into the latter category. Last time I stood (Giants playoff game) I asked the guy next to me, and he went OFF about how this is a bunch of crap, etc. etc. Funny that I'd turn to the one guy in the stadium (not really) who felt REALLY strongly about it.

      I actually am fairly certain about the "protocal" and know that there is no reason to stand/honor GBA. Doesn't mean that another person who does want to stand, etc. is doing anything "wrong," though I do honestly wonder if it is "wrong' since it demeans the National Anthem ("SSB") , ESPECIALLY if someone is palying a different song to "replace' the SSB for that particular event. For example, if major league baseball decided to play GBA before a baseball game, there is NO WAY that I would stand.
      That is absolutely disrespectful to the SSB, IMO.

      BGA is a special song, but it is no more special than My Country 'Tis of Thee. And certainly not as special as the SSB.

      I like the song, and I like Irving Berlin, but I ain't standing unless someone gives me a reason to stand (i./e., "Please stand and remove your hats for the playing of GBA, to honor our fellow Americans who died on [insert the event]" That is a reason to stand, seperate and apart from any protocal re our national anthem or the flag. We do this for ANY moment of silence, I think.

    20. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by BlackC70 View Post
      Side, side story. The song that Finland uses as one of their national songs (Finlandia, by Sibelius??) also appears in our (Methodist) church hymnal, with different lyrics (The revised title is something like God of all the Nations). It will get sung every once in a while during our church services. But the lyrics of this hymn version are so namby-pamby (I really can't think of a better way to describe them), that I can't stop from laughing while singing them:

      This is my song, oh God of all the nations,
      a song of peace for lands afar and mine.
      This is my home, the country where my heart is;
      here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
      but other hearts in other lands are beating
      with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine
      My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
      and sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
      But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
      and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.

      This is my song, thou God of all the nations;
      a song of peace for their land and for mine.

      It's the bolded lines that get to me. I know it's a nice sentiment and all, but the whole "well, our country is nice, but we wouldn't want to offend anybody by implying that other countries aren't just as nice" vibe of it just fractures me...

      I'll start snickering, and my wife has to kick me to get myself serious again.
      Sounds like you belong to a very nice church.

      and I know for a fact that the skies over Beijing aren't ever as blue as the skies over San Francisco, so......

      and they never will be. God Bless America.

    21. #21
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      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      Sounds like you belong to a very nice church.

      and I know for a fact that the skies over Beijing aren't ever as blue as the skies over San Francisco, so......

      and they never will be. God Bless America.
      Cannot say the same about LA... have not seen true blue skies for years...

    22. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by gascos80 View Post
      Cannot say the same about LA... have not seen true blue skies for years...
      you need to get our more! I know blue sky is possible in Los Angeles, because I saw it. ONCE!!

      :-)

      honestly, the skies are often blue in L.A. after a good rain. I like L.A. in the winter. Good air quality; not hot; and you can get good waves!!