Star-spangled career: Bruins’ Rene Rancourt reflects on a life defined by the national anthem

Rene Rancourt wonders a lot of things about his career.

What if that hard check during a hockey scrimmage in Lewiston, Maine, had never landed? What if he’d been pressed into battle in Vietnam, like a lot of his Army buddies were?

What if Kate Smith hadn’t been sick on Oct. 21, 1975? What if John Kiley, director of music for the Boston Garden and Fenway Park, didn’t have his number?

“Wow. If those things didn’t happen, who knows where my life would have taken me?” said Rancourt, who for the last 42 years has performed the national anthem before Boston Bruins home games. 

“God, I’m a very lucky guy,” he said. “I had no idea where my voice would take me. I get emotional when I think about it. What a ride it has been. What a ride.”

Rancourt’s “ride” — performing for the Bruins and their fans, making appearances, singing at weddings — ends

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