It's a baseball tradition. The national anthem begins every game. So you'll be forgiven if there are times you'd just like to fast-forward through the whole bombs bursting, star spangled-ness and on to the first pitch. But if there was one person standing in Turner Field last week who didn't get emotional during the Star Spangled Banner, shame on them.
The Atlanta Braves handed over the mic to 10-year-old Lily Anderson, a Georgia kid battling stage four neuroblastoma cancer. And she rocked the house.
See what I mean? If that didn't make you tear up, you may want to invest in some True Blood because you're inhuman. Little Lily, who was first diagnosed when she was 8, dedicated her performance to two little girls with cancer who have passed away even as she's continued her battle with the cancerous tumor in her abdomen. Her song was done on behalf of the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research, a nonprofit that was given leave by the Braves organization to take over Turner Field for a night, spreading awareness and raising money for the cause. The foundation couldn't have gotten better exposure than a baseball game in Turner Field of all places. Braves fans cover the entire south, and the team is faring well in the National League East this year. But more to the point, they couldn't have had a better spokes ... singer(?) than Anderson, a kid who's racked up 15,000 fans on Facebook with her big grin and her eye for fashion (that thing on her head? That's a Vera Bradley DINNER NAPKIN). She wants to be a country singer when she grows up ... and she's determined TO grow up, to beat cancer. It's that kind of heart from a singer that reminds people the Star Spangled Banner isn't just some song they sing at the beginning of a baseball game. It's a song of strength and a song of hope.