On this annual celebration of our country’s founding some 2.5 centuries ago, I would like take you back to Game 2 of the 2001 World Series that involved the New York Yankees, and specifically to this video clip of America the Beautiful being sung on home plate at Bank One Ballpark. If you love this country, and you love freedom, it may give you a chill.
The series start was delayed and finally opened almost 7 weeks after the attacks of 9/11/2001 in New York City.
At that time, America was reeling, shocked, and angry.
Watch as first responders and service members unfurl an American flag that covers most of outfield that they later shake to create rippling from the wind, as it were, as four F-16 fighter jets fly overhead. The atmosphere was just electric.
Singing this classic anthem is none other than the incomparable Ray Charles, who received a standing ovation to a deafening roar from almost 50,000 fans. Ray Charles Robinson left us in 2004 and this rendition may be mostly forgotten, but both now belong to the ages.
On that day in September almost 18 years ago, we were all New Yorkers.
Today, we are all Americans.