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Three-Year-Old Sings National Anthem at NFL Game
When Boston police officer Kim Tavares sang the National Anthem to open the preseason game between the NFL’s New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, she was not alone. Belting out the anthem along with her was three-year-old Garrett, who joined in with all his heart. Garrett is the son of two other Boston Police Department officers, is plainly a Patriots fan—he was clad in a team jersey bearing the number “12” of patriots quarterback Tom Brady. He is also quite plainly a fan of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” He knew the words—and let’s cut him some slack; even the best of singers are challenged by the tune. But little Garrett put his whole heart and soul into his singing. The Boston Police Department posted this video, shot at Gillette Stadium on August 16, on its Facebook page, and, understandably, it quickly went viral. According to Fox News, the video had more than 2.3 million views and 53,000 shares by the morning of August 20—and it hasn’t slowed much since. "Little Garrett may have what it takes for a call to back up in Cop-Pool Karaoke!" the site proclaimed. Cop-Pool Karaoke Officer Tavares and her partner officer Stephen McNulty, part of the BPD Media Relations department, have been singing at public events for a while. Officer Tavares has performed the Anthem at other events alone, as well. The two officers gained fame when the BPD released a video of the pair singing “God Bless America” on July 2, ahead of the city’s Fourth of July celebration. That video was so popular, the pair were invited to sing a weather report for meteorologist Al Roker of the Today Show. That was also wildly popular, which led to Officer Tavares getting the gig at Gillette Stadium. The Pure Heart of a Child Garrett, being so young, probably doesn’t know about or understand “deflate-gate.” He has not heard about teams spying to steal each others’ signals. He probably doesn’t know why anyone wouldn’t like the Patriots or Tom Brady. Garrett is probably not aware of some of the turmoil surrounding the singing of the Anthem before NFL games. And to watch him in action, he doesn’t care. He is not cynical, he is not political, he is not partisan. He is singing, with his hand on his heart, what he knows as the song which represents his nation, America, and all the good that represents. He might not know all the history and he might not be aware of the more recent debates, but he knows that the song represents something wonderful, something great, and he gives it all he has. There might be lessons to learn from watching this child sing this song. There are ideals we can reach for; there are ideals we can try to express. And when we focus on those ideals and ignore the petty, the political, and the transient, we can elevate ourselves. If we make the effort, we can reach the kind of purity this child embodies, pouring his whole being into expressing the simple emotions of love for a nation was created to be, and strives to be, the best any nation can be on this Earth.