Though the controversy surrounding the social justice activists who made headlines after taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem at major sporting events has died down, one WWII veteran has gone viral after a powerful performance at a recent baseball game.
According to Breitbart, 96-year-old WWII veteran John Pylman delivered a goosebump-inducing performance of the “Star-Spangled Banner” earlier this month at a minor league baseball game, once again reminding the country why it’s so important to remember and honor those who fought for our freedom on the battlefield.
Pylman’s rendition, which took place at a West Michigan Whitecaps game, has already garnered well over 3 million views — and counting — throughout social media.
“I had some dear friends who didn’t survive World War II – five of them in my ninth grade class,” he said when asked why he chose to perform the patriotic song. “We’ve got a wonderful country. It’s worth fighting for.”
Pylman might not have the vocal pipes that he did in his younger years, but his passion for this country, and its anthem, was on full display as he stood up from his walker and belted out a beautiful rendition of a song that never fails to sends chills down the spine of every American patriot.
Perhaps even more impressive than a nearly 100-year-old war veteran singing this nation’s national anthem is the fact that Pylman, obviously a humble man, did it not for popularity, but because it’s the right thing to do.
“To me, it means the United States of America, worth fighting for,” the WWII veteran said. “God’s blessed us with this wonderful country, let’s take care of it. It’s worth fighting for.”
Pylman was thrilled that his performance took the internet by storm, saying in a follow-up interview that such news made his day. “I can’t believe it,” the veteran told MLive. “That’s my attitude right now – I just can’t believe it. I was amazed at the crowd’s reaction, and I thought, okay, this is a good thing to have done.”
A true patriot
While Pylman doesn’t appear to be the kind of man who would brag on his service to America in some of its most trying times, he has a long list of accomplishments.
He joined the U.S. Air Force just a year out of high school, in 1943, and went on to serve as a navigator “on the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress plane as part of the Eighth Air Force in England,” MLive reported.
Equally impressive is that after Pylman’s military service, he would go on to further his education at Calvin College, now Calvin University, and earned a degree that would put him on a path to serving as the first principal of Wyoming-based Rogers Elementary, where he honorably served for 23 years.