This past Wednesday, a choir from Waynesville Middle School in North Carolina was told by local security to stop singing “The Star Spangled Banner” outside of New York City’s 9/11 Memorial.
Like … why?
The group didn’t have a permit.
“Basically, they performed approximately half of the National Anthem and they were told by security to cease and desist,” Waynesville Middle School principal Trevor Putnam said. “And they, of course, complied immediately.”
The students didn’t have a permit but did have a verbal OK from one security guard, according Connie Shepherd Scanlon, to the woman who recorded video of the choir’s performance.
“I think it’s terrible, being a veteran and such,” Bill Bright, a who was visiting the memorial, said. “Trying to instill on our youth the history of our country and the importance of our country; what we have here. So why stop them from singing our national anthem?”
The 9/11 Memorial website does state, under its “Prohibited Behavior & Disorderly Conduct” section, that
[d]isorderly conduct may include, but is not limited to, any of the following prohibited acts by visitors occurring anywhere on 9/11 Memorial & Museum Property:
s. Engaging in expressive activity that has the effect, intent or propensity to draw a crowd of on-lookers, except the 9/11 Memorial will allow visitors:
i. With a valid Memorial permit (information available here) to perform musical works on the Memorial Plaza for a 20 minute period on one designated day each month in the spring, summer and fall provided that there is no sound amplification and groups are smaller than 50 people.
The National Anthem only takes a minuscule fraction of twenty minutes.
A permit costs $35 (a non-refundable application fee), but make note that if you do apply there is no guarantee that you’ll be issued one.
h/t to Twitchy.