California youth Reprimanded For Singing National Anthem... in the State Capitol. Would they have preferred Songs of the Communist Youth?
From the Capitol Resource Institute:
Students attending a youth leadership conference were reprimanded by capitol security yesterday afternoon for singing the National Anthem and God Bless America in the state capitol rotunda. The patriotic expression was apparently so egregious that state troopers were called in to the rotunda to rebuke the students.
As the students ended their singing, several armed troopers entered the rotunda along with capitol sergeants-at-arms. They confronted conference staff and informed them that such singing is prohibited in the state capitol without a permit from the Rules Committee.
Undeterred by their shocking treatment at the hands of government officials, the students have applied for a permit to sing this Saturday, when they will visit the capitol for a mock legislative session on the Assembly and Senate floors.
The forty-five young people from all across California were at the capitol to attend the City on the Hill Youth Leadership Conference, where they learn the legislative and political processes. After spending the day meeting with lawmakers and their staff, the youth aged 14-18, engaged in a spontaneous expression of passion for their country by singing the National Anthem and God Bless America. Tourists walking through the capitol stopped to listen to the singing and clapped enthusiastically.
Among the students attending the conference were two young people whose father was held in a Communist prison in Romania. Another student is a Russian immigrant.
"This was a ghastly overreaction to some students expressing their patriotism in the seat of government," stated Karen England, Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute and director of the youth conference. "These young leaders have sacrificed a week of their summer to come learn about our government system and this is the 'welcome' they receive from the government."
"I am deeply saddened by the treatment these young patriots received at our state capitol," stated Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Family Impact and a graduate of City on the Hill. "This invaluable program equipped me with the tools I use every day in my job working with lawmakers. Unfortunately, these future leaders have seen first- hand how we are losing our liberties-including simply expressing our patriotism in public."
Despite their treatment, the City on the Hill students have applied for a government permit to sing the National Anthem in the capitol rotunda this Saturday, July 12, at 1:15 p.m. Citizens are encouraged to attend the performance to encourage these fine young leaders' patriotism.
The following is a clip of the City on the Hill students singing the National Anthem (without a permit!) two years ago---
CIty on the Hill 2006
Read God Bless America-If You Have a Permit