WATCH: Middle School Students Honor Navy Veteran with Impromptu National Anthem

by Matthew Memrick

A Kansas middle school chorus broke into an impromptu National Anthem when they saw a Navy veteran eating pizza with his wife.

The veteran was at Pizza Street in Olathe in November of 2019 when a group of 30 Mission Trail Middle School choral students came in. According to their chorus teacher Teresa Murray Posey, the students were going to a senior citizen’s home.

Murray Posey saw the veteran, Roy Fred Blackburn, in the pizza shop and identified him by his hat. Later, the students learned Blackburn had served for six years in the Navy. Blackburn later said he wanted to take a break with pizza in the Kansas City suburb on Veterans Day.

Murray Posey recalled thinking, “Let’s sing to him.” She encouraged a student to spread the word amongst the others, and they soon broke into song. Blackburn even stood and joined in with the chorus.

 “He was on oxygen, and he stood up and took his hat off, and his wife stood up,” ‘Murray Posey said.

Soon, the entire restaurant stopped what they were doing and stood up alongside the veteran, she said. 

“God bless you,” Blackburn said after the students sang to him on that day. “Do whatever you can for this wonderful country we live in.”

Soon everyone is in tears – students, veteran, and the rest of the restaurant. Murray Posey got the sight on video, and afterward, the students gave the veteran a bug.

Middle School Students Honor Navy Veteran Again After Death

Sadly, months later, Blackburn died. He was 82 when he passed away in February 2020.

But the moment left an indelible impression on the veteran. He requested that they sing at his funeral.

According to his obituary, Blackburn spent more than 20 years as a Johnson County firefighter after his U.S. Navy service.

“They don’t realize the impact that they can have on people, and I try to tell them all the time, music can impact people, you as a kid can impact people,” Murray Posey said to Fox News. “And until they see it happen or feel that happen themselves, they don’t realize it.” 

Murray Posey tries to remind her students how doing “something that’s positive” for others can go a long way, even if it’s as simple as singing to someone. 

“Don’t worry about what other people are going to think,” she said.

Another Act of Respect Toward National Anthem

Three roofers stopped to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” before a football game in Waterville, Maine.

Michelle Lyons Cossar posted a photo on Facebook of the three men. She watched the Waterville High School game when she turned around to see what people in the stands saw.

“This is what I saw…three men roofing a house and respecting the flag,” she wrote.

Her post and a local TV news story about the post spread rapidly across social media.

After the report, CNN caught up with the roofers, Dwayne Harris, Danny Thyng, and James Scraggs. The trio said they had been working for four hours when the national anthem began. 

Harrison, who stood on the roof’s peak, told Fox News that the crew didn’t realize they were in a picture.

“We were raised to respect and honor our country,” Harrison told CNN. “Instead of making lots of noise during the national anthem, we all reacted together and stood.”