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Video: Students spontaneously sing national anthem for dying Navy vet at pizza joint leaving everyone in tears

The American flag sways in the wind at Forward Operating base Baylough in the Zabul province of Afghanistan June 6, 2010. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Eric Cabral/Released)
August 10, 2021

A resurfaced video from 2019 shows the moment a middle school chorus dining at a restaurant stopped to sing the national anthem to a Navy veteran sitting with his wife nearby, leaving everyone in tears.

KMBC tweeted video of the impromptu performance that took place on Veterans Day in November 2019.

The group of 30 students stopped at Pizza Street in Olathe, Kansas, before heading to a local senior citizen’s home to perform, Mission Trail Middle School chorus teacher Teresa Murray Posey told Fox News.

While enjoying their pizza, Murray Posey saw a fellow customer, Roy Fred Blackburn, who was wearing a veteran’s hat. Blackburn served in the Navy for six years, and while he was in hospice at the time, he wanted to treat himself to some pizza in honor of Veterans Day.  

Murray Posey remembered thinking, “let’s sing to him.” She asked the students if they would sing for the veteran, and idea they agreed to without hesitation.

“He was on oxygen and he stood up and took his hat off and his wife stood up,” Murray Posey said.

In the video, every person in the restaurant is seen standing with Blackburn, who removed his hat and placed it over his heart while the students sang the Star Spangled Banner.

“They were crying. They were all in tears. The restaurant was in tears,” Murray Posey said.

After the performance, every student lined up to give the veteran a hug. Three months after the group’s touching act of kindness, Blackburn died at the age of 82.

According to Fox, the students’ impact on him was so profound that they were asked to sing at his funeral. The chorus once again paid tribute to the Navy vet who continued to serve his community after the military as a firefighter in Johnson County.

“They don’t realize the impact that they can have on people and I try to tell them all the time, music can impact people, you as a kid can impact people,” Murray Posey said. “And until they see it happen or feel that happen themselves, they don’t really realize it.”

Murray Posey said she works to remind her students about the importance of doing “something that’s positive” for other people, even something as simple as singing a song.

“Don’t worry about what other people are going to think,” she said.

Shoppers at a Haslet, Texas, Walmart put their hands over their hearts and joined a woman who had unexpectedly started singing the Star-Spangled Banner while standing under a large American flag displayed in the store over Independence Day weekend.