CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A community in Clearwater is banding together while remaining six feet apart.
The residents are actually leaving their homes every night to join in song. They are singing “God Bless America.”
Charles Whitaker started the tradition.
He took to the streets of On Top of the World, Clearwater with a cell phone in his hand to document the details for 8 On Your Side.
“We have something to share with you,” said Whitaker, while he was recording a video of himself on his phone.
He turned to the phone to the building in front of him and, suddenly, the residents started to sing in unison.
“It actually brought tears to my eyes,” said Whitaker, “to see what a movement it made and how quickly it spread.”
Whitaker and his wife sang the song for the first time on Friday, from their front porch, without any support from their neighbors.
“We were just thinking, ‘I know we are not going to be heard, but let’s do it! Let’s start something to try to unite our community too!’” he said.
That duo has transformed into a choir.
Whitaker invited his neighbors to sing “God Bless America” with him and his wife every night at 8 p.m.
“That night, Saturday night, I could hear other buildings around us,” he said, “and Sunday night it sounded like a whole lot more people.”
They are sharing a message of thanks together.
“What better way to unite as one and to thank all of the first responders, the grocery store workers, the truckers, everyone that is helping to keep us safe, healthy and fed,” said Whitaker. “I hope it spreads and, when we sing, they can hear us all the way to Dunedin.”
Whitaker is focused on faith over fear and he will continue to sing that song every night through the pandemic.
“From the mountains to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam, God bless America, my home sweet home.”