I am writing in response to the suggestion we need a new national anthem, "It's time for a new national anthem," (July 16). A national anthem should move us and unite us despite political differences and philosophies. I know of no other song that can do that like The Star Spangled Banner.
I am sometimes asked to lead the national anthem. I begin by saying: "Our national anthem is not for a soloist. Democracy is not a spectator sport. It's for us, we the people, to join our voices in singing together. It's okay if we all don't hit the high notes or remember all the words. We sing together to support each other. That's what this country is all about, standing together in holding up each one of us. Now let's raise the roof!" On one occasion, I was almost drowned out.
With the challenges we face today, are we doing our part to ensure that the flag of freedom "o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave" is still waving, not just for us but for people everywhere who are losing their lives for the very thing we already have? Now that's a powerful song.