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Karla's Kolumn: Defending the national anthem

 

September 30, 2017



It’s about time people started defending the national anthem. I know you’re a bit puzzled by that statement.

But not that long ago, in fact right after 9/11, despite all the patriotism across the country, there was a movement to change the national anthem from the “Star Spangled Banner” to “God Bless America.” There was no outcry about the importance of the national anthem or the words to the “Star Spangled Banner.”

The outcry was regarding religion and people not wanting God to be a part of the national anthem. They weren’t necessarily defending the national anthem or specifically the “Star Spangled Banner.”

I did defend the national anthem and I still do. If you truly listen to the words Francis Scott Key wrote during the War of 1812 when the British were attacking Baltimore and Fort McHenry, you would understand the importance of the national anthem.

The United States flag during the War of 1812 was a symbol of freedom and victory, and that symbolism still exists today and that’s why many of us don’t like to see protests during the playing or singing of the national anthem of the United States.

People argue that they aren’t protesting or disrespecting the military or our fallen heroes, but if you look at when the national anthem was written and why, to me not honoring the flag or the anthem is disrespecting our country and all those who have served, fought and died to protect all that we hold dear in this United States of America.

I am proud to be an American. Yes, I was born here and I have no desire to live anywhere else. I appreciate and try not to take for granted the freedoms I enjoy as an American citizen.

I don’t think America needs another national anthem and I am proud to see so many people with a renewed respect for the anthem.

When I stand for the playing or singing of our national anthem, I am not saying that everything is perfect in our country. I am not saying that things couldn’t be better. I am not saying that changes are not needed in many areas. (Hey, I am a woman and women are still considered a minority in the U.S. We had to fight for the right to vote and there are social injustices for women like pay inequality, but considering how other countries treat women, I’ll continue to live here in America, continuing to be the best American, best woman I can be. And still honoring our flag, national anthem and country.)

When I stand for the national anthem, I am saying I am proud to be an American, where, in the words of Lee Greenwood, “at least I know I am free.” I am proud to be an American where I, a short, chubby white girl from a small town in Wyoming can aspire to be anything I want to be, and I am happy to be here in Worland, defending the First Amendment and being part of the Fourth Estate. I am proud to be an American where we have an election system, thanks to the electoral college, that every vote counts and not just the votes in the most populated cities and states. I am proud to be an American where anyone, yes anyone, even a reality TV star, can become president. I am proud to be an American where I can have an opinion different than yours. I am proud to be an American where I can have an opinion different than the government’s. I am proud to be an American where I can call out the government, whether it be local, county, state or federal, when I think they are wrong.

I stand for the national anthem of the Unites States of America because I am proud to be an American and all the rights and freedoms that come with being a citizen.

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The full four verses of “The Star Spangled Banner” as penned by Francis Scott Key

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,

What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,

Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight

O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep

Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,

What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,

As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?

Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,

In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,

’Tis the star-spangled banner—O long may it wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion

A home and a Country should leave us no more?

Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand

Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!

Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land

Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

 
 

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