Thursday, July 3, 2008

Don't Mock My Country

I fully condemn the detestable mockery of our sacred national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, which was recently twisted and sang at a public government meeting in Denver, Colorado.

A black female jazz singer sang a version of what has been called the “Black national anthem,” according to this article.

I don’t care if we have a black president or not; I care about WHO the president is.

I don’t care what color my neighbor is; I care about how GOOD my neighbor is.

The Star Spangled Banner has been switched and demeaned in the past. It has been switched up and sang with Spanish lyrics, different words, meaning and sound. That’s not right either!

I don’t care that my neighbors came from Mexico; I care if they’re here legally.

I just came back from Iraq. When I sang The Star Spangled Banner the first time after coming home, I cried. I wept so hard I couldn’t sing. I wrote about it here.

I fought side by side with my black friends and even a Cuban-American. I’ve been a police officer and have been helped tremendously by my African American partners. On the corollary, I worked in the most dangerous part of the city, which subsequently was predominantly black. So, I arrested several blacks, several Hispanics and several white people.

I don’t care what color you are or what language you speak; I care how you treat me and my family.

I’ve made wonderful friends in South Korea, Iraq, Israel and Palestine, England, Germany and all over the United States. Over ten of my cousins, nieces and nephews are adopted. They come from China, Tonga, and South Korea. I have a half-nephew who is Hispanic, and a niece who is black. So I don’t care about skin color.

I believe that while we are different, we all are created in the image of God. We might have different customs, cultures and looks, but we all have the same spiritual DNA.

But when it comes to singing MY national anthem, in the country I love most, I refuse to have anyone wrest or twist the lyrics, the words or the tune.

Francis Scott Key was on a ship trying to negotiate a release of several American’s who had been captured by the British. While on the ship he witnessed the attack against Fort McHenry. The hail of artillery was sure to destroy the men and their will, but it didn’t. The ramparts (or high walls) surrounding the fortress, still stood and the flag – the beautiful, wonderful American flag and all it stood for – still flew high come morning. It was that wonderful site which prompted Francis Scott Key to pen perhaps the greatest lyrics in all history, and in all the world.

In war, there is no color. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, know no color. We all speak one language. As Americans, and Americans in uniform, we’re all different and we’re all unique. Differences make America what it is – wonderful, beautiful, a land of great opportunity.

It was war that prompted Francis Scott Key to write those inspired lyrics. It wasn’t difference that bound the Founding Forefathers together to create the defiant and wonderful Declaration of Independence which we celebrate at this most incredible time of year. Nor was it separation that helped many of those same men to formulate the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Three American contractors were held hostage in Columbia for five years. They were brought home today. I wrote about before here. God bless the men and women who assisted in their rescue, and God bless America.

We’re more similar than we are different, and in war as in peace, we should forget color and language. We must be one. To be one – “one nation under God” – we must not abandon the tenants of our nation’s history. Yes, we must remember the Buffalo Soldiers and rue the terrible and horrible history of slavery, but we must also remember that our ancestors bound together to fight against British tyranny to establish this land of peace and promise.

So, don’t ever change those beautiful, inspiring and wonderful lyrics. Don’t mock America. We’re still one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


Candace E. Salima said...

Amen to that, brother. I was horrified by what that woman did. This is the United States of America and the Star Spangled Banner is our national anthem, penned, as you said, by a man witnessing the bombing of his city. They are words of power and strength which should ring in the hearts of every American so loudly that all divisiveness ceases to exist.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey ... in the same way that YOU don't like YOUR anthem changed, I like MY language to be as correct as possible. So ... " We all speak one language. As American’s and American’s "

It's Americans not American's ..

Have a great day!