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Examiner
  • Jerry Plantz: Fly America's flag proudly

  • Despite the Boston Marathon tragedy on April 15, many warm, feel-good stories evolved.



    One was the proud slogan “Boston Strong,” which characterized the city’s resilience, determination and solidarity.

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  • Despite the Boston Marathon tragedy on April 15, many warm, feel-good stories evolved.
    One was the proud slogan “Boston Strong,” which characterized the city’s resilience, determination and solidarity.
    Boston also poured on the patriotism as evidenced by fans singing out in gusto our national anthem at their baseball and hockey games. That message of love of country carried over into other cities as teary eyed fans sang along with guest soloists. In Chicago, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh fans began singing out, as if to proudly boast, “Our flag was still there.”
    Baseball fans are slowing realizing that the anthem was meant to be sung by everyone, not only a star performer.
    For years I have been encouraging readers to sing along with the celebrity singing our national anthem and for that privileged singer to sing it properly, a la Whitney Houston.
    Examiner columnist Jeff Fox emphasized the celebrity point recently, when he wrote, “Royals, if you ask us to sing the national anthem – good idea – then the celebrity leading us cannot be improvising the melody or “making it her own.” I’m a strict constructionist on this point, but it’s also just rude to change the tune and tempo if thousands of people are trying to sing along. It’s not about you, Miss Celebrity for a Moment, it’s about America.”
    “It’s about America” should also be the mantra of Chiefs fans who think it appropriate and whimsical to end the anthem with “home of the Chiefs.”
    Friday marks the celebration of Flag Day, so declared by Congress in August 1949 and signed by President Harry S. Truman. The first American flag was approved by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.
    Many towns celebrate the day with patriotic parades such as Philadelphia and Fairfield, Wis. Americans everywhere are encouraged to proudly fly their flags and please, not those that read “made in China.”
    While flying your flags you might even want to hum or sing our national anthem, or recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
    June 14 is also the anniversary of the founding of our Army, so a birthday salute to our Army and their veterans, me included.
    I’m off to Philadelphia to visit Independence Hall, where our forefathers, including that patriotic rock John Adams, forged our country in 1776. Adams, 50 years later, nearing death, toasted, “Independence forever.”
    Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at jerryplantz@msn.com.
     
     
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