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Letters to the Editor: Yeah, our national anthem is difficult to sing. Get over it

An American flag covers the field during the national anthem at Dodger Stadium on April 12, 2016.
An America flag covers the field during the national anthem at Dodger Stadium on April 12, 2016.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I read and re-read Randall Balmer’s op-ed article on “The Star-Spangled Banner” several times to be sure I was understanding it correctly.

Because the national anthem is primarily played before sporting events, or because he doesn’t have the ear or the vocal range to sing it properly, it should be banished?

Maybe the song means nothing to Balmer, but my eyes well up every time I hear it and I always sing along. Even if I am home alone, I rise and put my hand over my heart. The words are beautiful, the tune a little difficult, but this is the United States, and it is our anthem.

Barbara J. Boozell, Palm Desert

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To the editor: Taking Balmer’s piece questioning the tradition of singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before every sporting event further, why is it necessary before professional football games also to include a giant American flag unfurled on the field with military color guard in attendance?

Why are there commands over the public address system for all in attendance to stand and remove their hats for the presentation? Why are there military flyovers and acknowledgments of veterans in attendance? In Major League Baseball, why is it standard procedure to sing “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch?

If I didn’t know better, I would think these events are more in keeping with nationalistic rallies than with sporting events — or are the two synonymous in this day and age?

William Peterson, Homeland, Calif.

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To the editor: Balmer’s critique of the practice of singing the national anthem asked why it was mandatory at sporting events and not at rock concerts.

Notably, the national anthem is always played at the Hollywood Bowl for L.A. Philharmonic performances. And, for the most part, the audience enthusiastically embraces it.

Michael P. King, Woodland Hills


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