Opinion: Phones Too Important to Put Down for National Anthem at Arlington Cemetery

Image captured during performance of national anthem at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKRG) — On Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery behind President Trump, a majority of the crowd was seen holding up their phones for the national anthem.

Image captured during performance of “Taps” at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

As President Trump and military leaders saluted or put their hands over their hearts for the Star-Spangled Banner, spectators were seen taking photos and videos of the Memorial Day service with their smartphones instead of taking a moment to honor those who had given their lives for our country.

Even during the ceremonial playing of “Taps,” a song to honor the fallen military men and women of our country, smartphones were more common among the crowd than salutes or bowed heads.

It’s part of a generational shift — capturing the moment is beginning to become more important than living it. This is becoming especially common at concerts, where recording a song on your smartphone takes precedence over watching and experiencing it with your own eyes.

Image captured during performance of national anthem at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

The tune being played at Arlington National Cemetery, however, was no rock ballad.  The Star-Spangled Banner and Taps are ceremonial tributes not just to our country, but those who sacrificed their lives to ensure the United States of America had a tomorrow.

We live in a world where this observation of apparent disrespect could be perceived as too sensitive to “political correctness.”

However, if Americans can’t take a moment on Memorial Day…

at Arlington National Cemetery…

twenty feet behind the President of the United States…

during the national anthem…

to put down their phone for a minute of two, then will they ever?

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