Veterans are applauding the performance of a young musician whose cymbal came apart during the national anthem and resorted to a patriotic salute.
Andrew Pawelczyk was among several students chosen to lead the Star Spangled Banner during a concert at Eisenhower Junior High School in Darien, Ill., last month. After getting a hald dozen stirring bashes out of his cymbals, one of the cymbals broke from its strap and fell to the ground.
Pawelczyk was momentarily puzzled as he was left holding only a strap in his right hand, but he calmly recovered, carefully put the other cymbal on the floor, straightened up, turned towards the flag and saluted smartly for the rest of the anthem.
“My family is very patriotic and my grandpa served in the Korean War,” Pawelczyk told ABC News. “He is a deceased veteran so I thought I would honor him and the veterans.”
Both Andrew and his mother Heidi said multiple veterans have contacted him through both e-mail and comments on the YouTube video.
“They said ‘respect to you’ and not too many people your age would do that sort of thing,” Andrew said. “I thought it was cool.”
Heidi Pawelczyk said she thinks the video has resonated with so many people because signs of patriotism, particularly from young people, are rarely shown.
“I think people felt good about what he did from the moment they saw it, and it makes them feel good that they respect the flag and respect the veterans,” she said.