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Friday, July 4, 2008

One Nation Under God

Rebe Martin, a jazz singer, was supposed to sing our national anthem at Denver's State of the City speech this week, but she surprised everyone in attendance by singing Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing, the black national anthem. The singer explained later she was simply expressing herself.

Frankly, I thought the singer’s self-expression was rude. She chose the wrong time and place to sing Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing. She should have felt honored to be asked to sing our national anthem, but she disrespected the honor and valued black more highly than red, white, and blue. If I had been Denver’s mayor, I would have led the assembled dignitaries in a group rendition of our national anthem immediately after Rebe Martin’s solo. The singing might not have been on key, but the patriotism would have more than compensated for any decrease in vocal quality.

I was born in Scotland and lived in Canada through elementary school and high school. Scottish and Canadian pride blend with my deeper American pride, but I have no desire to sing Scotland the Brave or O Canada instead of The Star-spangled Banner. Americans of every race and national origin are “one nation Under God.” We need stand together, perhaps more now than at any previous time.

I’m sure your heart and mine will swell with pride on this Fourth of July as we view fireworks celebrations and hear patriotic songs. May Old Glory wave forever and may we show the rest of the world that we are “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Happy Fourth!

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