March 29, 1996 in City

Our Anthem Unites Us As Americans Sing It All Places Play The Banner With Gusto At All Civic Events.

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Of course teams should play The Star-Spangled Banner before every game.

The reason is simple. Big sporting events are one of the places where Americans gather without regard to their color, bank account or politics.

We all love the Vandals or the Huskies or the Cougars, right? The teams draw us together in a shared experience.

The Star-Spangled Banner does the same.

Standing up with the crowd when the national anthem begins gives each of us a moment to remember we are, in fact, one country.

Not the same country for everyone.

Not a country without its problems, but a place where we still have enough common courtesy to stand together.

Sure, people sometimes don’t stand. Sometimes they give a defiant salute, or don’t take off their hats.

Fine. This is all the more reason to keep playing The Star-Spangled Banner at every occasion. The national anthem serves us just as well when it becomes a cultural or political barometer, something to support or protest.

Recognizing and honoring the shared experience of being an American will only become more important as our nation grows more multi-cultural and as the tensions grow between the haves and the have-nots.

Learning the national anthem and understanding the customs surrounding it can help stitch us together at a time when plenty of forces are pulling us apart.

The song always gives a parent an opportunity to teach a bit of history. Who was Francis Scott Key?

What events were the verses written about?

The song teaches us about the limits of the human voice, too.

Don’t tell me you don’t need more practice.

So, we should be singing the Star-Spangled Banner more often, not less.

Sing it at political rallies. Sing it at punk rock concerts. Sing it at chess tournaments, trade shows and soccer tournaments.

The song continues to be a wonderful civic experience.

And here’s a tip the next time you clear your throat in preparation: start on the lowest note possible or the “rockets red glare” will flame out your vocal chords.

, DataTimes MEMO: For opposing view, see headline: Sporting events trivialize anthem

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = EDITORIAL, COLUMN - From both sides CREDIT = Chris Peck/For the editorial board

For opposing view, see headline: Sporting events trivialize anthem

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = EDITORIAL, COLUMN - From both sides CREDIT = Chris Peck/For the editorial board


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