McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

November 10, 2011

Letter to editor: Salute to the 'Star Spangled Banner'

By Herbert Cox
Submitted report

KIOWA — Editor:

What do we know about the “Star Spangled Banner”?

We know that it was written on the back of an envelope by Francis Scott Key during a bombardment in 1814. His brother-in-law put the music to it. But there are no guidelines governing it, whereas with the American flag there have always been some rules.

Some recordings have been made without success. Robert Goulet forgot the words to it. Modern day singers have interpreted it in soul and jazz but not one got excited until Roseanne Barr choreographed it. I once read of a sports star who attempted to sing it and forgot the words and started over twice. Two TV announcers were amused and laughing at the singer. I think this was disrespectful to our country and our flag.

If anything cries for protection it is our country’s anthem. Maybe we should try to come up with some rules before other comedians take a shot at it.

One thing, we should be respectful when the flag passes, by rising, if not handicapped, removing our hat or cap with hand placed over our heart.

We’re a young country. Maybe that’s why we hang on to the precious bits of symbolism we have.

There are a lot of us who look at the world and wonder, “Is anything sacred anymore?” It’s comforting  to hear its people respond with one voice, “Yes.”