“O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.” Those words I have heard and read about so many times on TV., talk radio and the Internet. Yes, Christina Aguilera, messed up the verses on the song. We all know that, or did we?
I myself know the words to the national anthem. Being a sports reporter, I have come to know, expect and enjoy the singing of this wonderful song before sporting events at our area high schools. However, when Mrs. Aguilera sang the song wrong, I noticed it right away. Several people watching the game with me did not.
The next day, the sound bit was being played on numerous radio stations, on television stations, and everyone had something to say about her mess-up. The public had a right to be upset. She was singing our nation's song, a tribute to the American flag. Though when I listened to several of the people around town, they were mistaken on which part she got wrong or did not know the verse that should have been sung.
Every time I hear that song being sung at any event, live or televised, I have my right hand placed firmly over my heart and my eyes are fixed upon the flag as I silently sing those words which I am not afraid to say often brings a tear to my eye.
Those tears are often brought on as I look upon — My, what a wonderful sight — the American flag is the symbol of our nation, its evolution and change in design reflect our country's growth. I look upon its stripes and stars and see much more then cloth and stitching.
I can see the brave explorers setting out across a frontier unknown, revolutionaries fighting for our very existence, great men and women who have helped to shape this nation with their bravery to lead, bold men who would ask what you can do for your country, or dared to share their dream of a unified nation. I see the statesmen, inventors, builders, farmers and ranchers whose hard work, sweat and tears helped forge this great nation.
Above all I see the faces of the men and women who have bravely dedicated their lives to the protection of our great nation. Overseas and at home, those brave soldiers, fire fighters and police officers who have taken an oath to preserve freedom and liberty.
I have a lot of respect for anyone who will stand and sing our national anthem. It may not be the greatest singing of that song, it may be off key, but the meaning is still one and the same.
Next time I am sure Christina Aguilera will have the words memorized. The question is, will you?
Thomas Garcia is a reporter at the Quay County Sun. Contact him at: