College student from Gold Star family sings National Anthem at Phillies game

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Friday, June 7, 2024
Student from Gold Star family sings National Anthem at Phillies game
The talented 19-year-old Melina Cruz thinks of someone special each time she sings the National Anthem at Philadelphia sports arenas.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- 19-year-old Melina Cruz, a college student from a Gold Star family, performed the National Anthem at the most recent Phillies home game.

She was raised in Northeast Philadelphia and recalls how singing helped her overcome a speech impediment at a very early age.

This was Cruz's fourth time performing at Citizens Bank Park. Each time she sings, she thinks of someone special.

Her uncle, Teodoro Torres, Jr., was killed in the line of duty just the week before he was planning to return home. He was a recipient of a Bronze Star Medal and a Purple Heart.

Cruz wore her mother's Gold Star Lapel Button in memory of her uncle when she performed on June 5, 2024.

Now a student at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Cruz has a long list of musical dreams. Her biggest goal is to perform on Broadway.

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