Sep. 25—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A Johnstown father has become a social media sensation after a video of him singing the national anthem at a high school soccer game went viral.
Mark Lux decided to fill in when "The Star-Spangled Banner" couldn't be played on Monday at his daughter's Greater Johnstown varsity soccer game against Somerset Area.
"I was already standing, filming my daughter, and I said 'Why don't we just sing it?' " he said.
In a video taken by fellow soccer parent Jayne Hanuska, Lux can be seen performing the song solo at Trojan Stadium. That video was shared on the social media platform TikTok, where it had garnered 3.8 million views, more than 800,000 likes, 17,900 comments and thousands of shares as of Friday. On Facebook, the video had amassed more than 600 likes, 200 comments and 432 shares.
Typically, a musical rendition of the song is played before the games. But the normal announcer was not available to play the anthem, and an announcement relaying that information was made.
That's when Lux, a U.S. Navy veteran who comes from a family of military members, stepped up.
He said he began singing and assumed everyone else would join in. But that wasn't the case.
"It was the most nervous I've ever been in my entire life," Lux said.
The father's performance is met with a rousing applause as the video ended.
"We need more people like Mark in the world today," Hanuska said.
She was impressed by Lux's performance and commended the bravery it took to sing in front of all those people.
Hanuska said she started recording him singing because she has been recording everything from her daughter's senior year playing the sport.
"I wanted to capture everything I could from the soccer season," she said.
Lux is a Bishop McCort Catholic High School graduate who has been singing for numerous years and performed with several bands. Today, he sings with acoustic groups Unplugged, Train Stop 6, and Lux and Company.
As an employee of Best Windows and Doors, he has also provided the voice for the company's commercials.
Lux said the national anthem carries a special meaning for him and recalled asking his father why it's played before sporting events.
His father told him that's because "it's a story of true Americans that have never given up."
"That's the spirit that you want your teammates to have," Lux said. "Never, ever give up and continue to fight."
As for the outpouring of respect, congratulations and attention he's received, Lux said it's all overwhelming and humbling.
"It really truly echoes where we're at in life that it is possible for one person with one voice to make a difference in this world," he said.