Two 9/11 Memorial security guards are facing scrutiny after they broke up a group of middle school students singing the National Anthem. It turns out that singing at the Memorial is only allowed if you've acquired a $35 non-refundable permit to sing for no more than 15 minutes on "one designated day in the spring, summer and fall provided that there is no sound amplification and the group is smaller than 50 people."
"Some of the students were very upset and confused," Martha Brown, the music teacher at Waynesville Middle School in Waynesville, North Carolina told the NY Post. "I told the children, 'This is a place where you need to respect authority even if you don't understand it.'"
"[The guards] could have waited 30 to 45 seconds for us to finish, or he could have stopped us before we started, and it wouldn’t have gone viral,” she added. Probably true.
One of the student's grandmothers posted the encounter online, which took place last Wednesday afternoon, soliciting 375,454 views as of this morning. Here are the tweens being cut off right at "The bombs bursting—"
The guards are inaudible, but Waynesville MS Principal Trevor Putnam later told reporters that permitting was the issue. One guard gave the group verbal permission, but Memorial security was not of one mind. "We obtained permission, but not correctly," Putnam said.
A spokeswoman for the 9/11 Memorial tells us the guards "did not respond appropriately" and that "we are working with our security staff to ensure that this does not happen again with future student performances."
For further clarification on activities that merit expulsion from the 9/11 Memorial—bathing, sleeping, gambling, lighting candles, asking questions can get you ejected; but selfies are no problem—you can peruse Section XV of the Memorial's Visitor Rules and Regulations.
As for the choir, they got their moment on Fox this morning, because this is America.