Proud American: Bin Laden’s death inspired youth minister to sing national anthem

Sharna Johnson

Sunday night one Clovis man was so excited to hear Osama bin Laden had been killed, he ran into his yard and sang the national anthem while waving a flag.

“We had just turned on the news and caught it right before they actually confirmed the reports (and) I thought of a flag that we had in the garage,” Joseph Snodgrass said.

“I thought about that flag (and decided) I can’t wait until the morning, I’ve got to (put it up) now.”

Snodgrass said he was trying not to disturb his neighbors but couldn’t resist breaking into song as he held the flag in his yard.

“Oh I sang the national anthem, cracked voice and shaking from the cold and all, but I sang it.” Snodgrass, a children’s minister at Living Stones Community Church, said he moved to Clovis with his family a year ago and was living in northern Virginia on Sept. 11.

“It was a pretty dramatic experience to say the least. I never imagined anything like that happening in America,” he said.

Snodgrass said he had acquaintances who were killed in the attacks on New York and an uncle who worked for the CIA narrowly missed the attack on the Pentagon because he didn’t go to work that day.

Monday, Snodgrass said he was writing responses to some of his religious colleagues who were condemning celebrations over bin Laden’s death.

“As a Christian I can’t rejoice over someone’s death (especially when) it’s fairly certain where they’re going to wind up,” he said. “(But) I am happy justice has been served. There’s a huge difference in rejoicing over the shedding of innocent blood and rejoicing over evil being cut off.”