Country star and half of the duo Big & Rich, John Rich, is blatant about his thoughts surrounding American patriotism. Last night, the star shared a powerful video of a Connecticut crowd singing to “God Bless America.” The footage itself is awing. Phone flashlights wave back and forth throughout the crowd, adding effect. At certain points, the singer drops out, letting the crowd carry the tune and the lyrics.
The footage was recorded from somewhere near the back of the stage. Viewers can see the opening moments capture the tops of the band’s drumset.
Before beginning the iconic anthem, John Rich said, “If you know it, sing it.”
He then leads the crowd into the melody of “God Bless America.” Big Kenny, recognizable in his famous hat, directed the crowd in rhythm much like an orchestral conductor.
Followers to John Rich’s account shared their love for the performance, many applauding the duo’s patriotism and enduring singing talent. “OMG I just got goosebumps! I love my country!” one fan wrote. “That’s what America needs right now,” another follower commented.
Others highlighted the beauty of the performance. They also applauded another amazing Big & Rich concert, or simply their need to see the duo again soon. Overall, it appears John Rich and Big Kenny’s performance last night went over really well.
John Rich Tributed 13 Deceased American Soldiers Amid the Afghan Conflict
Followers of John Rich’s social media accounts probably already know the country singer is outspoken in his posts. Most recently, he tributed the 13 young soldiers who lost their lives at the hands of suicide bombers amid the United States’ pull from the Afghan nation.
Alongside being a country music star, John Rich also owns his own Nashville bar. He tributed the 13 soldiers with a neat circle of 13 shots of alcohol. Each one symbolized the 13 young men and women who won’t get to return home.
The sign beside the 13 shot glasses read, “RESERVED: For the 13 who aren’t coming home.”
The tribute is thoughtful and chilling. 13 glasses symbolize 13 American lives, all of whom should have made it back overseas. Patrons to the bar may imagine those 13 service members lining Rich’s bar. John Rich’s tribute further highlights the physical space they occupied in the world and what that void represents.
John Rich wrote above the photo, “My staff and I…send our deepest respect and gratitude to #The13 who gave their lives in Afghanistan. As a symbol of our love for them, we’ve reserved their place at the bar.”
Although what makes the tribute all the more powerful is that several of those 13 soldiers weren’t even old enough to drink.
Rich has frequently shared his anger and frustration following the current administration’s hasty retreat from Afghanistan and the resulting lost lives.
“America’s heart is breaking,” he wrote after the attack. “Its fists are clinched and its eyes are streaming with tears of blind fury…To all our troops and veterans, we love and respect you, and we are sorry for the disgrace you are being subjected to.”
Many Americans continue to feel the same as tributes to the 13 young service members pop up around the nation.