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Seems like I am not the only one who gets upset with the way some of these "singers" try to rearrange "The Star Spangled Banner.” I still like to hear the song sung the way I learned it back in grade school - straight and strong and meaningful. 

When sung proudly with reverence before a game or event it gives me goosebumps. When someone tries to “change the flavor" it hurts me.

I know musicians like to put their rendition on songs and sometimes it doesn't matter but excuse me, I like the "Star Spangled Banner" the old way with the flag respectfully displayed to remind us what we have been given.

A Marine Corps Colonel in Afghanistan recently wrote “…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 song 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 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 your costume, makeup and your entourage.

“Sing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ with the courtesy and humility that tells the audience that it is about America, not you. And please remember, not everything has to be sung as a Negro spiritual. We're getting a little weary of that.

“Francis Scott Key does not need any help.”

The words of "The Star Spangled Banner" were first written on September 14, 1814 by Francis Scott Key as a poem entitled, "Defence (sic) of Ford McHenry."

When the bombardment of Ford McHenry subsided, the American Flag was still flying. This flag was truly huge. It measured 42 X 30 feet. Though published in a number of newspapers at the time, it wasn't until the Civil War the song became one of the most popular patriotic songs of the United States.

It was Woodrow Wilson who requested the song be played at all sporting events. In 1931 Congress drafted a proclamation naming "The Star Spangled Banner" as our national anthem. President Hoover signed the proclamation and the rest as they say, is history.

Believe it or Not ... It was Robert L. Ripley of "Ripley's Believe It or Not" who spurred the American people to demand "The Star Spangled Banner" become the national anthem.

On November 3, 1929, Ripley ran a cartoon saying "Believe It or Not, America has no national anthem.” Americans were shocked and wrote five million letters to Congress demanding Congress proclaim a national anthem.

Most people don't realize there are actually four verses to "The Star Spangled Banner.”

Oh, 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, thro' the perilous fight,

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

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof thro' 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 thro' the mists of deep,

Where the foe's haughty hosts 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 on 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 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 footsteps' 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 homes and the war's desolation;

Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land

Praise the Pow'r 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!

It will be interesting to see what rendition will be given to this song before the start of the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 2.

I pray the original version will be sung with reverence and strength and hope as it was originally written.

Thank you for making a difference!

Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements. In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us. 

If you have birthdays and anniversaries you would like include, or news to share please contact me via e-mail, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; by postal mail, P. O. Box 192, Geneva, MN 56035 or telephone, 507-256-4405.

This week's birthdays and anniversaries include:

• Thursday, Jan. 30: Alice Richards, Allison Grunwald, Renae Wallace, Trudy Nelson, Cody Boverhuis, Dennis Jensen, Jeanette Fetterly, Michael Robinson, Scott Morreim, Wally Wobschall, Missy (Wayne) & Sean Engel, their 5th, Paul & Diane Stollard

• Friday, Jan. 31: Ethan River Thompson, his 9th; Avery Routh, her 9th; Dana Jensen, Jim Worrell, Keith Hagen, Sue Richards, David Skroch, Jim & Lois Plunkett

• Saturday, Feb. 1: Grayson Joseph Bickler, his 6th; Richard Grunwald, Brad Hagen, Tom Olson, Shelly Wencl, Sam & Sharon Peterson, Darrin & Michelle Hanson

• Sunday, Feb. 2: Kia Jayann Buendorf, her 6th; Matt Davis, Addie Farr, Joey Farr, Michael Farr, Butch Otteson, John Fornberg, Robert Hanson, Jim Motz, Karri Bangert, Lillie Fenney

• Monday, Feb. 3: Bowen Gregory Jensen, his 8th; Lily Neitzel, Julie Hanson, David Johnson, Sherry Misgen, Tara (Stollard) Richards, Francene Pittman, Jeremy Hanson

• Tuesday, Feb.: Aaron Duane Bauers, Tyler Cerney, Tyler Sorenson (1994), Waylen Busho Jr., Billy Glynn, David Newgard, Roy Jensen, John Lent

• Wednesday, Feb. 5: Crystal Simonson, Blanche Kasper, Darrell Howell, Randy Reese, Ericka Johnson, Kylee Jace Wilson, Wesley Schoenrock

• Thursday, Feb. 6: Jean Klocek, Carolyn Hanson, Dean Jensen, David Kelly, Martin Bartness, Colleen Borchert, Troy Haddy, Jean Clausen, Sonja Thompson, Megan Stephoni, Todd Nelson, Brooke Burns, Kay Swenson

• Friday, Feb. 7: Cheryl Boettcher, Ted Pelzl, Kelly Simon, Emma Lorraine Klemmensen, Karissa Dolan, Dorothy Katz, Joel Radjenovich, Steve & Holly Glynn

Saturday, Feb. 8: Lainee Ann Krohn, Erin Thompson, Terry Wacek, Dennis & Cheryl Sauke

• Sunday, Feb. 9: Emily Eder, John Warnke, Donnavon Eaker, Laura (Edwards) Baudoin, Brad Lerum, Howard Goette, Kelly Lageson, Heidi Nelson, Karen Knudson, Tami Sorenson, Jay Wangsness

Let the good times carry you away on your special day!

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