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96-yr-old vet proves he’s a true patriot with moving rendition of national anthem at baseball game
I couldn’t help but cry when I heard him singing.
Colby Maxwell
10.04.21

Singing the national anthem before sporting games is nearly as old as some of the sports themselves! It’s a time of thankfulness for the people who sacrificed so much for others, and it’s a time to reflect on the ability we all have to push the country in the direction we want it with our freedoms. Also, sometimes it’s just straight-up moving.

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One man was asked to sing the anthem a few weeks ago and the resulting video has swept the internet.

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A minor league baseball team in Michigan was about to have a game on August 5th when they all got ready for the national anthem. It’s been a part of the ritual of the game for quite a long time, but that day, it was going to be a bit different.

It was going to be different because John Pylman was going to be the one singing.

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John was slated to sing his own rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner, just like many before him. The West Michigan Whitecaps would then play their name in Comstock Park, Michigan soon after. John, however, has a special relationship with that song.

John is a 96-year-old veteran.

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John has been alive since 1925 – a staggering thing to really think about. John was around before electric refrigeration, color television, and high-speed photography. He has seen quite a lot in his life and as a veteran, he’s seen more than most humans should ever have to.

All of these incredible things combine to make his rendition of the anthem a truly beautiful thing – he’s lived through his belief that the song is true.

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John stood up from his walker and grabbed the mic to start singing. With a characteristically shaky voice that shows his age, he sings. The beauty of the moment wasn’t the technical prowess of the song or the notes that he hit while singing. It was the heart behind it that made such a difference.

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As he goes through the song and finishes, he was met with applause from everyone in the stands.

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As you can imagine, the video soon went viral. Once uploaded to the West Michigan Whitecaps Facebook, it soon was up to over 3 million views and counting. The comments that people left were nearly as touching as the song itself.

“Probably the best version I have ever heard or will ever hear because it comes from his heart,” one person wrote.

“Awesome, sung by someone who understands the true meaning of our flag.”

When asked about his performance, John easily responded.

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“To me, it means the United States of America, worth fighting for,” Pylman told MLive. “God’s blessed us with this wonderful country, let’s take care of it. It’s worth fighting for.”

The man clearly touched some hearts that day! It wasn’t his first time singing and many hope it won’t be the last. As he finished, the announcer spoke across the entire amphitheater and said:

Thank you John and thank you for your service.”

It’s safe to say that everyone else echos the sentiment.

Check out the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Colby Maxwell
hi@sbly.com
Colby Maxwell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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