As emotional tributes reverberated from coast to coast and solemn remembrance services were held across the country on Sept. 11, one Loudoun resident found a unique way to honor 9/11 with the help of his patients.
Orthodontist Dr. Neal Kravitz had an idea to encourage people to come to his office and sing the National Anthem in exchange for a gift card.
“I had a feeling the night before and it was an emotional feeling, so we decided to do it. It came from a genuine place,” he said.
More than 300 people either came into his office or sent in videos singing the National Anthem throughout the day on Sept. 11.
“There was a line outside the building,” he said. “It was non-stop singing in front of everyone in the waiting room all day long. It was remarkable. An incredible day full of pride. It was powerful."
Kravitz described the singers at all levels of talent.
“Some were at the operatic level, and some were novices. They were all kids who were born after 9/11, so it was important to generate the conversation with this age group,” he said.
Personally, Kravitz said he feels that 9/11 is a “very real and important day.”
“I went to college in New York City and knew someone who worked for [financial services firm] Cantor Fitzgerald. On 9/11 I was in dental school, and I remember the announcement when someone ran in and said we are under attack. It still hits me hard, and I still think about the people affected. This was a small way to let everyone in our area know there are people thinking of them,” he said.
Scott Faircloth's 15-year-old son Luke was one of the participants.
“He is a huge sports fan, and so he knows the National Anthem from attending games. He wanted to sing. Luke told me it was amazing -- like Bruno Mars meets Elvis Presley. Dr. Kravitz did it with such a good heart. God bless him,” Faircloth said.
Kravitz, who has been in practice for 12 years, has offices in South Riding and Ashburn, and says he may do this again sometime.
“It brought such happiness, and the response was beyond impressive,” he said.