Rep. Grimm to Deliver “God Bless the USA” Artist’s Book at P.S. 90 Rally after Principal Ignores Meeting Request

Jun 18, 2012

BROOKLYN, NY – Last week, Rep. Michael Grimm (R,C-S.I./Brooklyn) sent a request to NYC Department of Education’s Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott and P.S. 90’s Principal Greta Hawkins asking to meet with the kindergarten class this morning to congratulate the students, speak about his experience serving our nation, and give them all a copy of a book by Lee Greenwood, the artist who sings “God Bless the USA.”  P.S. 90’s principal refused to respond to the congressman’s request, so the books will be delivered to the students and parents at today’s 3pm afterschool rally.

“It is unfortunate that the principal of P.S. 90 fails to see the value in sharing a song or a story about American patriotism.  As a Marine combat veteran, a former FBI agent, and member of Congress, I have dedicated my life to serving this country and defending our flag. These are experiences I had hoped to share with the students of P.S. 90,” said Rep. Grimm.   

“We should never ever apologize for being Americans, and we should certainly never ask our children to hide or silence their pride. It is reassuring to know that so many Americans, including Lee Greenwood, share my sentiments. ‘God Bless the USA’ is a testimony to the strength and resilience of our nation, and served as inspiration to all of us in times of conflict, particularly in the aftermath of 9/11. I thank Lee Greenwood and Tate Publishing for their generosity in donating these books to the students of P.S. 90’s kindergarten class. They are true patriots and I am proud to partner with them in this effort to right a terrible wrong,” Rep. Grimm added.

“I congratulate Congressman Grimm for standing with the children of P.S. 90 on Coney Island,” said Lee Greenwood. “I have sang ‘God Bless the USA’ thousands of times, for children of all ages. Never have I been told by teachers, principals, parents or students that my lyrics were in any way inappropriate.”

“We're honored to stand alongside Congressman Grimm and Mr. Greenwood in the effort to protect the rights of these children,” said Ryan Tate, President and CEO of Tate Publishing and Enterprises. “The song is a perfect representation of our culture and teaches kids that being an American is something to be very proud of.”

The school received attention last week after the principal nixed a student performance of Greenwood’s patriotic song, “God Bless the USA,” seeking to replace it with Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” After hearing of Rep. Grimm’s strong opposition to that decision, artist Lee Greenwood and Tate Publishing contacted the congressman stating they would help the cause by donating 115 copies of the artist’s book “Does God Still Bless the USA?” with a link to download the song, “God Bless the USA” for all the kindergarten students and parents of P.S. 90.

A Rep. Grimm representative will deliver the books to the students and parents at a 3pm rally outside the school. Today, the House of Representatives is in session and the congressman will be en route to Washington at the time of the rally.