US Capitol Police issued an apology for halting a Christian children’s choir performance of the national anthem, which had been approved by the Speaker’s Office.
According to a person associated with the choir, “certain Capitol police said it might offend someone or cause issues.”
Rushingbrook Children’s Choir were singing the National Anthem in Statuary Hall in the US Capitol when they were interrupted by Capitol police.
A representative from the choir was told that “certain Capitol police said it might offend someone/cause issues.” pic.twitter.com/3J8BSBsBSu
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) June 2, 2023
“Although popup demonstrations and musical performances are not allowed in the U.S. Capitol without the proper approval, due to a miscommunication, the U.S Capitol Police were not aware that the Speaker’s Office had approved this performance,” said the US Capitol Police in a statement to the Epoch Times.
“We apologize to the choir for this miscommunication that impacted their beautiful rendition of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ and their visit to Capitol Hill,” the statement continues.
A viral clip shows the Rushingbrook Children’s Choir singing Francis Scott Key’s song, inspired by the persistence of American forces against the British during the War of 1812, in the building’s Statuary Hall—itself recently transformed by ideology after Virginia removed a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in 2020.
Suddenly, the conductor, David Rasbach, is approached by a man who whispers something to him. Rasbach cuts off the performance before the children can deliver the song’s final line: “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” -Epoch Times
According to Rasbach, the group received permission from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), in coordination with the office of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC).
In a statement, Reps. William Timmons (R-SC), Russell Fry (R-SC) and McCarthy denounced the incident, and confirmed that permission had been granted.
“We recently learned that schoolchildren from South Carolina were interrupted while singing our National Anthem at the Capitol. These children were welcomed by the Speaker’s office to joyfully express their love of this nation while visiting the Capitol, and we are all very disappointed to learn their celebration was cut short,” the lawmakers said.
The Capitol Police deny telling the group that the performance could offend someone.
“It is not accurate we told them the song could be offensive,” they told the Epoch Times.
Rasbach says that a staffer for Wilson told him to silence the children, after which he walked over to three Capitol Police officers, one of whom said that the group “may not continue singing.”
“This is considered to be a demonstration, and that is not allowed in the Capitol,” she added.
“Do you mean to tell me that a choir of children may not sing the National Anthem in the capitol of the United States?” Rasbach said he asked.
“No, they may not,” the officer responded, per Rasbach.
“I left with a sense of utter disappointment, realizing that our country had certainly changed since the times when, as a child, my family visited the Capitol many times and could go up the grand front steps, unrestricted, roam the Capitol halls at will, ascend the grand, marble staircase and visit the balconies of the stately Senate and House chambers, all while feeling—even as a child—a deep sense of respect and pride that this great building and all that it represents is my birthright!.”
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