Was I the only one appalled at the rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the start of the 2011 Super Bowl? It is supposedly an honor to be asked to sing the national anthem at an occasion such as the Super Bowl, in front of an audience of millions. And for someone to sing it in that manner is unconscionable. It should be sung with the same respect and reverence given to the American flag.

The words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 after a fierce, 25-hour battle. One can only imagine the relief of not only Mr. Key to see the flag, but the brave men who, came the dawn, survived the battle .

During the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key was held by the British overnight during the shelling of Fort McHenry, one of the forts defending Baltimore. In the morning, Key peered through clearing smoke to see an enormous American flag proudly flying over the fort. He was so delighted to see the flag still flying, he began a poem to commemorate the occasion.

In the future, I can only hope that the Super Bowl committee is more careful in its selection of who is chosen to sing the national anthem.

Dorothy B. Fitzgerald, Lisbon Falls

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