This I Believe

Susan - Elizabethtown, Kentucky
Entered on November 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Think abou the words “national anthem.” What do they mean to you? Is it one of those songs you blast out of your radio while you’re driving down the highway? Or perhaps something you dance to when you get together with a big group of friends? The words “national anthem” have a very special meaning for our country and for Americans in general. Our national anthem is what reflects our country and all the people that live in it. Currently, that anthem would be the well-known Star-Spangled Banner. Written by Francis Scott Key in 1814, it’s definitely been around awhile for people to know and love.

Recently, there has been some controversy in changing our national anthem from the Star-Spangled Banner to another great American song, America the Beautiful.

I believe that America the Beautiful and The Star-Spangled Banner have only one thing in common: they’re both about America. Even though America the Beautiful is a newer song, written in 1893, that’s just all the more reason why The Star-Spangled Banner should represent America. It has about 80 years on America the Beautiful, and was put to the test in a time of crisis. When Francis Scott Key wrote it, it was because he peeped out through a window during the War of 1812, and through the rubble, saw America’s flag standing strong at the top of Fort McHenry. He was so moved, he wrote a legendary song about what he had seen, and painted a picture in our minds so we could see it, too. The Star-Spangled Banner is more than just a song that we sing before a big game; it’s a song of our past and the hard times we had gone through. Knowing that flag still waved during all that fighting really made Americans realize what we were made of. This song proves that.

Although America the Beautiful represents how beautiful of a country we have, it just doesn’t have that same feeling to it. When you hear the Star-Spangled banner, you can’t help but stop what you’re doing and take it all in. America the Beautiful is more an upbeat, feel-good song. It just doesn’t seem to have as much meaning. When people say it would actually represent our country better, I just can’t understand where they’re coming from. The words from our current anthem, “And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,” really just grab my attention.”Oh, beautiful, for spacious skies” doesn’t cut it for me. The Star -Spangled Banner has so much more meaning. There are millions of people that take this song to heart, and when they hear it, it reminds them of how their ancestors defended our freedom so long ago. Our country is represented by our American flag, so shouldn’t our song be, too?

I believe that there’s no competition between The Star-Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful. The Star-Spangled Banner is now our national anthem, and forever should be. It models our citizens, our country, and everything we stand for.