Flyers fans heard the usual stirring rendition of God Bless America, live by Lauren Hart and on video by Kate Smith, before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Bruins.
And considering that less than 24 hours earlier Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special forces, this time the song had even more meaning.
The song has been a rallying anthem for the Flyers since Smith began singing it in the mid 1970s. Hart started the song, then looked up to the big screen and passed it off to Smith before Monday night's game. They finish in a split-screen duet.
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“For me personally there have been several occasions where this has meant the world to me,” Hart told NBC Philadelphia before the game.
But this rendition was special.
“I always feel a spirit and a love from the Philadelphia Flyers fans,” she said.
Fans chanted “U-S-A! U-S-A!” after lineups were introduced and again after the song was finished.
The Flyers asked that fans paused to salute the men and women of the military who serve the United States at home and abroad. Members of local Philadelphia police and fire departments joined the color guard to present the American flag.
The fans being fired up helped fuel the Flyers to a 2-0 first-period lead but it wasn't enough to carry the Orange and Black to victory. The Bruins won 3-2 in overtime.
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