Missouri Lodge of Research. I couldn't agree more with the piece, and since I know many Americans feel the same way, I thought I'd share it. It goes like this:
The National Anthem: A Brief EditorialSo, with all the kindness I can muster, I give this one piece of advice to the next pop star who is asked to sing the National Anthem at a sporting event: save the vocal gymnastics and the physical gyrations for your concerts. Just sing this the way you were taught to sing it in kindergarten straight up, no styling. Sing it with the constant awareness that there are Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines watching you from bases and outposts all over the world. Don't make them cringe with your self-centered ego gratification. Sing it as if you are standing before a row of 86-year-old WWII vets wearing their Purple Hearts, Silver Stars and US Flag pins on their cardigans and you want them to be proud of you for honoring them and the country they love, not because you want them to think you are a superstar musician. They could see that from the costumes, the makeup and the entourage. Sing the Star Spangled Banner with the courtesy and humility that tells the audience that it is about America--not you!
I couldn't have put it any better myself, however, there is just one thing I would add . . .learn the words!