These are the images that are conjured up by the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” But now our national anthem is under attack. The same forces that waged war against the Pledge of Allegiance are out to destroy “The Star Spangled Banner” to replace it with something easier to sing, something less offensive, less historic and less stirring.
Is it possible that anyone would wish to remove the national anthem? That is difficult to comprehend when an entire stadium of attendees at sporting events stands and salutes as the national anthem is sung.
Dr. Shelli Manuel, American history historian, biblical scholar and widow of Sir David Manuel – who coauthored, “The Light and the Glory” with Peter Marshall – is leading the charge to protect our nation’s heritage through her national effort, “Sing it America! Biggest Sing Along in History.” Dr. Manuel is seeking 50 state coordinators who will bring 200 ordinary voices to their capitol state houses to sing the National Anthem simultaneously on Sept. 14, 2014, at 5 p.m. EST. This nonpartisan national event aims to increase awareness of our national heritage, particularly among our youth, promote unity among all Americans and show our leaders that the national anthem is not too hard to sing.
The national anthem has been under attack before. In fact, it was conceived under attack, illuminated by the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air. Watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key had no idea whether the flag would fall as British captains assured him it would. All night long through that earth-shaking bombardment, he prayed, and by dawn’s early light, he saw the stars and stripes, tattered and shot through, but still flying. His prayers had been answered; our land was, indeed, as the last verse of the anthem states, “Heaven rescued land.”
Are there really those in great enough numbers to threaten our national heritage? According to Dr. Manuel – and these startling facts – there are:
“Rasmussen reports 15% of Americans want a new national anthem. The initiative for this began such a sentiment in the circles of the G20 meeting several decades ago, asking nations to change the rhetoric found in their nation anthem that was deemed to be too militarily adversarial to their One World neighbors. It was stated that America’s anthem was too antiquated and too hard to sing, and that most Americans would gladly give it up for something more peaceful such as ‘America the Beautiful,’ or even Woody Guthrie’s hippy-yippy Communist song from the 1960s: ‘This Land is Your Land.’ Can you imagine singing that to the next terrorists who attack? It doesn’t quite have the same zing to stir patriotism, bravado and courage in the hearts that must rally to instantly defend.
“There have also been broadcasts for several years in NPR looking for a composer that could bring forth a suitable replacement to modernize our national anthem.” And this piece by the Washington Post says “The Star Spangled Banner” “has got to go.”
She continues, “On the ‘We the People’ page of the White House.gov website to raise petitions to the ear of the president and Congress, there was a campaign by pop star Miley Cyrus and her fans to replace the national anthem with her song, ‘Party in the U.S.A.’ We launched our petition on May 1, the National Day of Prayer. We realize it’s a lofty goal to reach 100,000 signatures in 31 days, but the petition gained national media for ‘Sing it America!’”
Prominent individuals have joined forces with Dr. Manuel. And as she passionately tells it, “Gen. Jerry Boykin, heard me speaking of this issue and said, ‘Shelli, do not let go of this campaign. Our national anthem is the anchor to national defense.’”
Unbeknownst to many, 2014 is the year of the bicentennial of the national anthem. Dr. Manuel states, “Even congressmen in our nation’s capital were unaware of it. If no one celebrates the anthem with national fanfare – only three days after 9/11 – that will prove an open runway to dismiss our song of national defense once and for all.”
She continues, “We cannot allow 9/14/14 to disappear on the timeline of history without a nationwide celebration of the bicentennial of the national anthem. It deserves that level of recognition and its very survival depends upon it. Dr. Manuel prays that the unity of voices promotes a joy and a pride of celebration such as The Singing Revolution of Estonia that freed their nation from totalitarian soviet regime.
“We are asking that people have the passion to care for this next generation and not allow our anchor of national defense to be hoisted away, subjecting American youth to be adrift on those waters of uncertainty in a political climate that seeks to destroy our unique courage and brave historic past. We are asking you to make the same sacrifice that others made so long ago.”
To promote participation, “Sing it America!” has developed an app that will do three things:
1) Educate Americans about the Defender’s War and the national anthem
2) Provide a celebration of recordings to be used at any event
3) Provide competitions such as for young students to write, in longhand, all the verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner” to prove they were able to accomplish that simple task.
O, say can you see? Those words detail for us the heroic mission of God Almighty, to rescue us as a fledgling nation, when every odd was stacked against us.
How will you celebrate the bicentennial of the national anthem? Are you willing to put God and country first? On Sept. 14, let’s simultaneously upload our voices at our state capitols and show the president and Congress that we want our national anthem to be preserved.
Sing it loud; sing it proud! This is your national anthem!
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