I was privileged to listen tonight as my daughter sang the National Anthem in front of her school, at their eighth grade commencement ceremony.


My daughter has just completed seventh grade, has never had voice lessons, and neither her father nor her mother are musically gifted. Yet the national anthem I listened to tonight was sung with a voice as clear and crisp, and as emotionally charged as I have ever heard it sung.

Yes, I am her father, and maybe I am prejudiced. But to hear the reaction of the eighth grade class, and all of their friends and families, well…..I guess all I can say is; they hooted and hollered for my daughter as if they had just paid to hear her sing.

The funny thing is, the school forgot to let my daughter sing the anthem at the beginning of the ceremony, so she actually sang it towards the end, after all the awards, and after all the “completion” certificates were handed to each graduating eighth grade child. (Or do I call them entering freshmen?)

It was hot inside of the school, veeeerrry hot. The crowd sat through over an hour and a half of awards presentations and speeches, before my little girl sang. Against all odds, wondering when, or if she was going to sing, my young daughter not only did the best she could under bad circumstances, SHE NAILED IT!!! Whoooohoooo!!!!

Yes, I am proud of her, but not because of how she sings, although I admit, I love listening to her voice. In fact, I told her that I would have been pleased with her even before she sang. She sings not to please me, but because she loves it.

I wish you could have heard her. I had no idea she could sing so high and loudly at the same time. Her voice pierced the gymnasium, and pierced my heart. I have never experienced emotion listening to the national anthem, but I did tonight. I almost cried. The song just meant something to me more than a “national anthem”. It was my daughter, singing from the depths of her soul, swaying and moving in her heart and voice with the words and sound of the music.

My daughter will turn thirteen on Tuesday the fourteenth of June. She has the voice of an adult, but the heart of a child. Thank God for that.

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