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A Word of Thanks

March 11, 2010 - Michael Palmer

One of my favorite highlights from basketball season was when at OUE prior to the start of the Buckeye Local boys’ game against Dover. The Star Spangled Banner was announced but not played and while the crowd stood in awkward silence one parent began to sing our National Anthem.

About three-quarters of the way through the canned version blared out over the public address system but once it had finished Buckeye Local’s coach Gary Raber showed a lot of class by crossing the basketball court and shaking the hands of this parent.

Those in attendance will know which parent I am speaking of, but she wishes to remain anonymous.

Then a few days later at River the sound system malfunctioned and everyone began looking in her direction. She again began to sing in a very nice, clear and beautiful voice our National Anthem.

I guess that makes her a leader. Indeed she should be proud that she took it upon her self to initiate the singing. To her credit, unlike many Americans today, she knew all of the words.

"The Star Spangled Banner", was ordered played at military and naval occasions by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, but was not designated the national anthem by an Act of Congress until 1931.

The words were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, who had been inspired by the sight of the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry after a night of heavy British bombardment. The text was immediately set to a popular melody of the time, "To Anacreon in Heaven."

The National Anthem consists of four verses. On almost every occasion only the first verse is sung.

      Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light

      What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?

      Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,

      O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

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

      Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

      Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

      O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

“Mrs. “Anonymous” on behalf of the fans at both games and proud Americans everywhere, I would like to take this opportunity to salute you and thank you.


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