A recent incident unfolded at the Capitol, where a children’s choir, the Rushingbrook Children’s Choir from South Carolina, was asked to halt their performance of the National Anthem by Capitol Police. Initially believing it to be disruptive to a demonstration, the officer requested the congressional employee to intervene. The abrupt interruption left many shocked and dismayed, as the National Anthem is held in high regard.
The decision drew swift condemnation from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who labeled the removal of the children from the area as “unacceptable.” Taking to Twitter, McCarthy expressed his intention to welcome them back and reiterated his commitment to ensuring that such incidents are not repeated.
Following the incident, it was revealed that the Capitol Police were unaware that the performance had received approval from the Speaker’s Office. In a statement, a Capitol Police spokeswoman acknowledged the misunderstanding and expressed regret that it prevented the choir from showcasing their rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner on Capitol Hill.
The choir’s director, Rasbach, emphasized that proper authorization had been obtained from representatives William Timmons and Joe Wilson of South Carolina, as well as from Speaker McCarthy himself. Their repertoire included patriotic songs like America the Beautiful and My Country ‘Tis of Thee, aiming to celebrate their love for the nation.
Expressing concern for the negative impact on the children’s experience in the nation’s capital, Rasbach confronted the officer, highlighting the importance of this opportunity for the young singers. While the officer acknowledged their talent and suggested taking the conversation outdoors, it left a bitter taste for the choir and their supporters.
In response to the incident, Timmons, Wilson, and McCarthy issued a joint statement expressing their disappointment that the schoolchildren’s performance was interrupted. They emphasized that the Speaker’s Office had invited the choir to sing songs expressing their love for America, and they shared the collective sentiment that the reopening of the People’s House is a cause for celebration, enabling more citizens to engage with Congress.
The incident also garnered attention on social media, with Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene expressing disapproval of the Capitol Police’s handling of the Rushingbrook Children’s Choir. According to reports, concerns were raised that the performance might offend someone or cause issues. Greene, along with many others, stressed that children singing the National Anthem is not offensive but rather a necessary expression of patriotism.
Ultimately, the incident shed light on the importance of clear communication and understanding to avoid unintentional disruptions and to preserve opportunities for young voices to be heard in celebration of their nation.