Tuesday night my Nanny (this is what I call my Dad's Mom) and I went to cheer on the Cats as they faced off against Mississippi State.
When it was time for the National Anthem and presentation of the colors I stood up and did what I always do...I put my hand to my heart and looked at our flag. Honoring our country, and respecting everything our anthem and colors represent. After many years this is habit and what any other US citizen would/should do. As I glanced around toward then end of the song I couldn't help but notice a few men still wearing their hats.
I was very taken aback by this. Did they not know what was going on? Did they miss the memo? Forget they were wearing a hat? Although, if this was the case why did their family/friends not remind them...? Was it because they were never taught it's respectful to remove your hat during the singing of the National Anthem and presenting of our colors? Or was it because they simply did not care? WHAT was going on here?
Now don't get me wrong....95% percent of people in Rupp Arena were doing what you are supposed to do...it was just that other 5% who really surprised me. I would like to think those wearing their hats during this time simply just forgot they had one on to begin with. However, even as a lady I still remove my hat during the singing of the National Anthem. I do this out of respect for my country and those who have fought, or are currently fighting for, my freedom.
Maybe it's because I'm extremely patriotic (side note: I love our flag. I love all patriotic songs. Some times those songs actually make me tear up because I am so proud to be from our country.). Maybe it's because I still believe in (what most people consider to be out dated) values, traditions and respect. Maybe it's because I was raised in the south. I don't know the exact reason for this; however, I am highly offended when people - men in particular - do not remove their hats during the singing of our national anthem.
I also prefer for men to remove their hats during dinner as well; whether it's at a restaurant or at home around your own table. You do this out of respect. (Mr. D would probably disagree with me on the hats and dinner thing. What can I say? The boy was raised in south Florida and not the good 'ole south.)
I not only respect our country. I also respect tradition. I am BIG on tradition. For me, it doesn't matter if it's a national tradition, college tradition or family tradition. If it's tradition...well, that's just how it is. I love old traditions and some of my favorites over the years are college traditions (especially those at Florida and Kentucky). When I heard about what happened to Toomer's Corner at Auburn University I was immediately saddened.
Not only do I fully support tradition...but I also fully support the South Eastern Conference and it's competitors. The SEC sticks together! While we are inner conference rivals, we always put this aside by rooting for our conference in tournaments, championships and out of conference games. These are the rules of the SEC. These rules are TRADITION. Another rule? We respect one another's traditions! While it may be different from the tradition at our university, we can still respect yours. You may not know all the words to "We are the Boys" like I do...or understand why we sing it...but you better respect it (just like I respect hearing Rocky Top a bazillion and one times when we play Tennessee).
Shame on the person who did this to Toomer's! These rules and traditions are part of what makes the SEC the best conference! You don't like the rules? You don't like the traditions? Then get out of our conference! Go join the Big Ten.
How do y'all feel about all this? Am I completely old school to think hats should be removed during our National Anthem and at dinner? What about Toomer's? Were you as enraged as I was?