From the Washington Times, Students get meaning of anthem lyrics by Arlo Wagner:
Ben Meyer stood up in his classroom at 9 a.m. yesterday, placed his hand over his heart and sang "The Star-Spangled Banner," without missing a word or a note.
"It's cool," he said. "It symbolizes our country."
The 13-year-old eighth-grader at Carl Sandburg Middle School in Fairfax County was one of thousands of students across the country who are learning the significance of the national anthem as part of the National Anthem Project.
Yesterday, schools and communities nationwide sang the anthem to celebrate its 191st anniversary. Blessed Sacrament School in Northwest also participated.
The National Anthem Project comes after a nationwide poll found that two out of three American adults don't know all of the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" -- and many more don't know which song is the national anthem or why it was written....
Nations don't just happen; they must be built. Especially in the United States whose unity is supposed to be based on shared ideas about liberty and justice for all instead of bloodlines. Marc Fisher, the gift that keeps on giving, said this about the Pledge of Allegiance today:
Marc Fisher: I'm all for memorization as one of the great skills that schools used to teach, but don't anymore. Kids should memorize great poems and songs just to have that skill in life. So I don't mind kids being taught the national anthem or patriotic songs. The pledge, however, has a creepy totalitarian feel to it, with or without the obviously unconstitutional, McCarthy-era addition of the God bit.
Not to pick on Fisher, who does that fine all by himself, but the creepy totalitarian feel of the pledge is a common sentiment on the left where identity politics trump quaint ideas like equal justice under the law. I doubt that's where Fisher's coming from; more likely it's the liberal reflex against conservative symbols. And giving up the flag to the right has worked out great.
Update: MRC's Tim Graham linked to this post over at Newsbusters and shows the value of having a longer memory than PostWatch 2.0's five months:
Pardon me if I have trouble with Fisher being so offended by the whiff of dictatorship in having school children pledge allegiance to liberty and justice for all. Because here's how we wrote up reporter Marc Fisher in the July 1994 edition of MediaWatch when it came time for Fisher to report on authentically creepy totalitarians. He seemed to like them:
Stephen Wechsler is a U.S. Army deserter and unrepentant communist who returned from East Germany after 42 years to attend his Harvard reunion. To reporter Marc Fisher in a June 20 Washington Post "Style" profile, he's "a soft kid who dreamed of justice."
Fisher quoted Wechsler's recent "dream of a world without hunger...racist violence...where every nationality and every human being is equally regarded and equally secured from life's worst hazards," but didn't mention the East German hazard of getting shot while trying to escape...