Singer James Taylor lent his soothing voice to the grieving people of Lewiston, Maine, where he sang the national anthem at Wednesday night’s high school football game against storied rival Edward Little High School of Auburn.
Known as the Battle of the Bridge, the game was postponed from Oct. 27, due to the mass shooting in Lewiston last week that killed 18 people and injured 13 others at a bowling alley and a bar.
The matchup takes its name from the bridge that connects the two communities across the Androscoggin River. The winner gets to keep Alan Clark Sr. Trophy until next year.
Cheerleaders and fans dressed in the colors of each school filled the stands on a chilly autumn night. A pre-game ceremony honored the first responders and hospital workers. The name of each victim was read aloud by announcer Bob Blanchette.
After a moment of silence, Blanchette introduced Taylor as “a proud New Englander who has generously given up his time to be with us tonight.”
Taylor walked onto the field, and removed his baseball cap stitched with a “9,” the number of Red Sox legend Ted Williams.
He picked up his acoustic guitar and sang to the silent crowd. First responders stood with hands over their hearts, and some in the crowd did, too.
When Taylor finished, the crowd cheered and cow bells rang.
Lewiston won the game, 34-18.