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Readers' forum: National anthem

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  • Earl Sandy, UT
    May 7, 2011 12:49 a.m.

    Heaven forbid, Mr. Ludlow! I hope you took names or pictures and turned them over to Homeland Security, the TSA or maybe just the local police! This has to stop NOW!

    Any one who doesn't doesn't participate in singing the National(ist) Anthem should be...what? Apparently Mr. Ludlow thinks they should at least be scorned, if not waterboarded. And the same goes for not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, right? WhatEVER is the world coming to??

    I stopped singing the National(ist) Anthem a while back, and you won't hear me pledge allegiance to any flag, either. Shame on me, huh?

    One of the most frightening impulses throughout history has been the temptation toward nationalism. Just because it's American nationalism doesn't mean it's purer or more benevolent. It almost inevitably leads to exceptionalism which engenders a sense that might makes right. It allows otherwise good people to do things they wouldn't normally do in the name of this exceptionalism because they can do no wrong. Sound familiar? It should.

    Bottom line: I encourage more people to remain silent during those demonstrations of pseudo-patriotism. Be a true patriot instead.

  • Kass SLC, UT
    May 7, 2011 6:44 a.m.

    You remind me of the little boy who told his Sunday School teacher, "Mary didn't close her eyes during the prayer!"

    If you were looking around and observing/judging others, how much attention were you really paying?

    And isn't it nice that we live in a country were we have the freedom to not only behave in such a way but to write into the paper and complain about it?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 7, 2011 7:28 a.m.

    The same thing happens at parades, when the flag is marched first in line with the color guards.

    Perhaps some people only feel like they live this country when "their" guy is the President.

    Sad.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    May 7, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    "and showed very little if any respect at all for our country that offers so many freedoms. (So, based on that statement) I would expect that all individuals that live in this country (be forced to) show some respect when the national anthem is played."

    It just doesn't make sense when you complete what was actually going through your head. I wish everyone would show more respect for the national anthem, for the other drivers on the road, for the environment of public places, and just show respect in general for everyone and everything, in this country and in others. But I'm glad I live in a country that gives me the right to choose whether or not I will show that respect.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 7, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    There are self-centered bigots everywhere who think that they can run down devotion to Country. They are to be pitied. They've been invited to eat at the banquet table of freedom and while their mouth is full, they spew obscenities at their host.

    Those who ignore the opportunity to show respect to our Country when the Anthem is played are just self-centered infants who have no knowledge of or respect for those who died to purchase their freedom. Instead of taking a minute to remember why they are free, they just go on with their lives as if nothing matters except themselves. They pretend that they are free because God pointed his finger at them and declared them to be the lucky one, the one who got to live in a free country, while most of the other 6 billion grovel for the necessities of life.

    The same thing happens in church every Sunday. As the sacrament is passed, very few meditate on its meaning. Very few . . .

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 7, 2011 9:17 a.m.

    What can you expect when these people listen to non-stop bashing of this country and its President on the radio? What can you expect when nutjobs on fair and balanced news channels bash the American people calling them lazy and feeling entitled?

    It's like drinking poison everyday and not expecting it to have any negative effects.

  • Earl Sandy, UT
    May 7, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    @Mike Richards: whatever.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    May 7, 2011 10:02 a.m.

    We talk about America as the Land of Freedom but out of the other side of our mouths we expect others to march lock, stock, and barrel to our beliefs.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    May 7, 2011 10:05 a.m.

    Perhaps some people only feel like they live this country when "their" guy is the President.

    What can you expect when these people listen to non-stop bashing of this country and its President on the radio?

    Amazing how fast the tolorant are willing to make a subjective statement about an audience they know nothing about. Was there a survey taken to find out who did or who did not? And thus we see the constant drible of hate coming from these two who try to make every issue them versus us.

    What about the likes of Mike Malloy, Michael Moore, and even the apologetic Obama constantly tearing away at the USA. What about the communist party, and seiu ranting together about how bad the USA is. Funny thing about your right wing radio hosts, they don't tear at the USA, only liberal policies that are destructive to the USA.

  • isrred Logan, UT
    May 7, 2011 10:41 a.m.

    This country that has given me all the freedoms that should be celebrated, also gives me the freedom to respect/honor the flag or the national anthem however I please. There is no law governing this. If you want to put your hand over your heart, you have the freedom to do so. If you don't wish to participate, you also have that freedom.

    The letter writer is trying to honor freedom and liberty through coercion and force of others. It's quite a contradictory sentiment.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2011 11:41 a.m.

    A thought but how many of those watching the Real Salt Lake-Monterrey game weren't Americans? There's probably a good contingent from Mexico who came up to watch the game too and well... how much attention to Americans give the Canadian national anthem when the Raptors visit?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 7, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    Coercion?

    Did the letter writer want to FORCE people to act like they appreciated America? Is that what it's all about? FORCE? COERCION?

    It couldn't be about appreciation, could it? No, of course not. It's just too easy to rant and rage because someone is FORCING you to put your hand over your heart.

    Appreciative people don't need force to show their appreciation. People who recognize the sacrifice others have paid for the freedom that they enjoy do not need to be forced to honor those who fell that we might be free. People who appreciate the incalculable price paid have no trouble showing respect for the flag that symbolizes that sacrifice.

    There will always be free-loaders whose goal is to minimize that sacrifice and to stomp and rage at the perceived evil that America has done.

    Most of us have had children who acted like spoiled brats from time to time. Most of our kids grew out of that phase.

    Many Americans perfectly fit the description of the "ugly American". They're self-centered. The world revolves around them. That give no thanks to anyone for anything.

    They're spoiled brats.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington DC, MD
    May 7, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    America, Land of the TSA checkpoints and Home of the bogus war on "terror".

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    May 7, 2011 1:31 p.m.

    Y'know, once upon a time, thousands of people at a game would stand and actually SING the Anthem together. Now we usually have some musically challenged celebrity signing an off-key and strangulated version of the song. (Okay, I know it's called "style." But it usually still sounds awful.)

    Somehow, I think we've lost something in the process.

  • Earl Sandy, UT
    May 7, 2011 1:40 p.m.

    @Mike: just so you'll know, I'm a Vietnam-era veteran. I have had an inside view of these so-called fights for freedom you're talking about. In the last 50 or so years, when has our military been involved in fighting for our freedom? What I've seen is power-hungry politicians and rank-crazed militarists collude to create these "freedom crises" where none existed. You've been hoodwinked.

    As for the name-calling, don't you think that's the last resort of someone who doesn't have a real argument? All of your comments have been aimed at intimidating rather than defending how you think our freedoms have been won by invading sovereign nations for our own selfish gain. Oh wait, you actually think we're doing these people a favor, right? Such ingrates.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 7, 2011 3:23 p.m.

    Earl,

    It looks like the moderators are still in a conundrum with my response. I'll have to admit that I took you to the woodshed. Apparently taking someone to the woodshed in not allowed. I'm still awaiting the formal automated rejection notice.

    Let's look at a toned down response. You served. Good. Many Americans our age had that privilege. Many did their duty. Many found service rewarding. Many, like you, did not. That's life. You can't remake history. You can't change the past.

    There is one thing that you can change. You can stop wrapping yourself in the Flag when you spout off against America. You can at least be consistent. Do your discharge papers have a clause that lets you pound your chest and tells us all that because you served, that you have the right to stomp on the Flag?

    Well, you DO have that right.

    Only you can decide if you're man enough to appreciate what that flag represents. Only you can decide if cemeteries all over the world that are filled with fallen Americans gives you the right to stomp on their service.

    They didn't return.

  • Earl Sandy, UT
    May 7, 2011 4:00 p.m.

    Mike, I'm sorry you see things that way. What you think the flag represents and what I think it represents are very different. I don't see that it represents the American people as much as it does the American government. They're two entirely different things.

    Mark Twain once said "Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it." I don't feel that our government has done much of anything to deserve my loyalty. For one thing, I will NEVER wrap the flag around myself, I'll leave that for you. And I'm not spouting off against America, I'm spouting off against the out-of-control government and military that you seem to adore so much. You have everything exactly backwards.

    You can have your flag, your military and your government. I'll stay loyal (and even pledge allegiance) to the people and my country. Fair enough?

  • L White Springville, UT
    May 7, 2011 5:10 p.m.

    My hubby and I just got back from a special Mother's Day luncheon. He's such a sweety. Anyway, he asked me not to read the comments before the luncheon, because they turn me into a real, well, you know the word.

    Some of the posts on this thread break my heart. I have always been proud to be an American. I have always sung the national anthem. I always put my hand over my heart. Maybe it is out of style to say that you are proud of your country. I am proud and I do not lie.

    I read parts of the Constitution from time to time. My favorite part is at the beginning. "We the People of the United States". It is our country. It is our government. I am proud of it. I love America. I love the people of America. I love the government that the people have elected. I love the symbols of America. I love the flag.

    It breaks my heart to know that some people are so full of hate towards this wonderful country. It just breaks my heart.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 7, 2011 5:50 p.m.

    I find it interesting that people like the letter writer and Mike Richard's choose to use the time during things like the national anthem to judge what they believe (Wether they are right or wrong of course does not matter) to be in others minds and hearts instead of paying respect to the flag.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 7, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    re: Kalindra | 5:50 p.m. May 7, 2011

    Pesky little facts can be so annoying, can't they? Did I write the letter?

    Sacrament meeting is something else. You could claim that I'm concentrating on what other people are doing and not focusing on the purpose of the sacrament. You would be partially right. It's just that a ringing cell phone or someone speaking in a stage whisper tends to break my concentration, but I do try.

    re: Earl | 4:00 p.m. May 7, 2011

    We'll have to agree to disagree. I had a response all ready to go, but there were some technical problems. By the time things got sorted out, L White posted. Her comments are better than anything I could have written.

    We are the government: We, the People. No government can exist without our consent. It is not the government that defines who we are and what we are; it's the people.

    There is not such thing as partial commitment to America. A pledge requires full commitment. An oath demands our ALL, even our lives.

    You're complaining while sitting at the banquet table of Freedom.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    The way most people butcher the national anthem, it may show greater respect and patriotism for them to just keep their mouths shut. Besides, I suspect that some who belt it out often do it thoughtlessly, not to express patriotism, not even thinking about what the words mean (just like a lot of people who sing hymns). But then I don't have Mike Richards' gift of discernment to read the hearts of men, so I don't impute improper intentions to those who sing or to those who don't. I agree with Kalindra. Stop being so judgmental.

  • L White Springville, UT
    May 8, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    It being Sunday and a very quiet morning, I was reading the Bible in Luke. Chapter 22 and verse 32 just about popped out of the page. I can almost see it. I can almost see Christ putting a hand on Peter's shoulder. I can almost see Christ looking Peter in the eye. I can almost hear Christ say: "when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethern".

    I hope it's okay to share things like this in a post. When I read these comments about putting your hand over your heart and all, I think that those people who do not do it aren't very converted to America. I think that they are just along for the ride. I think that their heart is somewhere else.

    Some posters are converted. Some posters are strengthening their brothers.

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    May 8, 2011 11:40 a.m.

    To Earl | 4:00 p.m. May 7, 2011

    Carl Schurz, a (Republican) U.S. Senator who served 1869 through 1971, said "My country, right or wrong." It is our responsibility as Americans to recognize both when our country does something right and when it does something wrong ... and, when it does something wrong, to try to fix it. Contrary to what has been suggested, we do NOT "stomp" on our country or its flag when we recognize our country's faults (large or small) and try to correct for them. It is our job, our responsibility and our duty to do that. We fail in our duty when we try to whitewash everything the country does, and criticize those who try to atone for the bad things we have done.

    It would not surprise me to find that you and I, on occasion, have differences of opinion concerning our country's actions, right or wrong. That is not something I will discuss here. I'm just pleased to find someone else who believes, and follows, Senator Schurz's counsel.

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    May 8, 2011 12:01 p.m.

    Oops -- typo alert. I said "Carl Schurz, a (Republican) U.S. Senator who served 1869 through 1971" I meant "Carl Schurz, a (Republican) U.S. Senator who served 1869 through 1875." Sorry about that.

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    May 10, 2011 6:57 a.m.

    Unlike Earl, I am not a veteran. I do know many. Some are front-line soldiers, many are entering medical service. I don't know a single one who has committed or would condone the atrocities that some posters lay at the feet of the military as a whole. I agree that atrocities have been committed, and it saddens me greatly. I don't doubt that some military leadership have let their decisions and actions be guided by political expediency or personal gain, and I agree that is wrong. I also agree that our government is out of control.

    I don't know what is in the hearts of fans at ball games when the national anthem is played. All I know is what I see. I see a lot of people standing still, hand over heart, singing or not, looking at the flag. But I see more milling about, laughing, talking, shouting, some eating or drinking. They have that freedom.

    I sing the national anthem because I love the song and because I love America. I think about those who DID die for my freedom, fighting in the Revolution, 1812, Civil War, WW1, WW2.

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    May 10, 2011 7:08 a.m.

    I view the Stars and Stripes as a symbol of our country, not our government. I love the flag, and yes, I pledge allegiance to it every week - I am a Cub Scout leader.

    As the flag is a symbol of the country, it is the country I am ultimately pledging allegiance to, not the President, not Congress, not the Federal government. Our country, and the 300,000,000-plus people in it who are my neighbors, friends and family.

    I love this country, and the men and women who past and present have placed their lives on the alter of freedom for our sakes. Many were able to take up their lives again. Many were not. Most served honorably, not committing the atrocities that Earl and others mention. I cannot bring myself to condemn the soldier disarming IEDs in Afghanistan, or the Navy doctor helping Marines in Iraq deal with the nightmares they live through every day on the battlefield.

    If any condemnation is deserved for these wars, it belongs to the leaders who pursued it unjustly and those few in the field who knowingly committed illegal acts. Please don't condemn those who served honorably.