Part of me thinks it’s nice that they keep a “contemplative and reverent area” at the Lincoln Memorial and the other part believes it to be pure bullshit.
Personally, I think a group of students impromptu rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner would have been stirring, whether at Lincoln’s feet or a few yards away.
A group of high school students attending a conservative leadership conference in Washington, D.C. said they were ordered by a security guard to stop singing the national anthem during a June 25 visit to the Lincoln Memorial.
“They told them to stop singing,” said Evan Gassman, a spokesman for the Young America’s Foundation. “I was taken aback. You wouldn’t expect a display of national patriotism to be censored.”
U.S. Park Police confirmed that the students were in violation of federal law and their impromptu performance constituted a demonstration in an area that must remain “completely content neutral.”
“The area they were standing in and singing is an area that is restricted for this type of activity,” said Sgt. David Schlosser. “The United States Park Police is absolutely content-neutral when it comes to any sort of demonstrations in these areas.”
Schlosser said the students would have been in compliance had they moved approximately 25 steps from where they were standing.
“It’s not the content of their activity – that being the national anthem – it’s the location,” he said. “A couple steps and it would have been no problem whatsoever.”
The students chose civil disobedience over compliance and kept singing the national anthem. I’m glad they did, that they felt that strongly. We need rules and guidelines in order to live peacefully among each other, but some policies seem to be in place simply to exert absurd control over us when we need it least.