Published by Parcbench on December 16, 2009:
In yet another example of a liberal journalist bemoaning the concept of American pride and exceptionalism, Nick Fierro of the Chicago Tribune offers this response to the question, “What sports tradition would you like to see eliminated?”:
The national anthem should be eliminated from all but the most important sporting events in this country, such as Super Bowls, World Series and Ultimate Fighting title bouts.
Just kidding on the last one, but you should get the idea by now that having to stand for this song at every event and every level of sport from T-ball to the pros has become just a little ridiculous.
At one time, such as when this tradition began during World War II, it might have been a good idea to promote patriotism. Now, all it promotes is … nothing. It has become a mindless exercise.
Mindless exercise? Perhaps for people with no understanding of history and no concept of the miraculous circumstances surrounding the birth of a country founded by ordinary, courageous men who took on the world’s greatest power and risked certain death because of an unwavering commitment to freedom.
At great personal peril, our Founding Fathers forged ahead, spurred on by their deep conviction for Judeo-Christian principles and the right of individuals to control their own destiny. Pardon my patriotism, but I am proud to celebrate and acknowledge the fact that — well over 200 years later — I am a benefactor of their passion, determination and willingness to die for the cause of liberty. Singing the national anthem at a sporting event is a privilege, not some meaningless act “promoting nothing”.
Not surprisingly, Fierro caused quite a bit of controversy, particularly among US veterans and active-duty military, who know a thing or two about commitment to a cause greater than self. One of them, a friend and US Navy vet, penned the following to Mr. Fierro:
I am not sure how you could write such a disheartening column/debate today especially while our country is at war. How can you say singing the National Anthem is a waste of time? You obviously have never served in the military, have no pride or appreciation for our veterans, or are simply looking for attention.
Honestly, everyone I attend games and events with are proud of the moment when we are offered the opportunity to demonstrate how proud we are to be Americans. Singing the National Anthem is an opportunity to bring a diverse nation together. Have you ever been to a game when there may be four or five different conversations going on sometimes in Spanish, French, Japanese, English or the many other languages locals and visitors alike share in our community? Yet when the Anthem is played all rise and speak one language or at least respectfully remain quiet. Maybe you are too busy or to weak to stand in the press box?
You wrote, ” having to stand for this song…… at every event has become ridiculous.” Then you go on to say, “all it promotes is…. nothing.”
This song promotes nothing??? This song is our National Anthem! I am disgusted by your words…I think about the meaning of The National Anthem everyday, as do millions of thankful Americans.
Finally, there are 14 houses on my block. At least half have the American flag waving but only three of my neighbors have your newspaper delivered. It is my promise that by tomorrow, there will be 14 American flags flying, but ZERO tribune subscriptions delivered, thanks to your column.
I can understand your ignorance to a certain degree I guess, but your editors must and will be held accountable. I believe an apology to your readers and all the men and women sacrificing their lives for your freedom is in order.
Should you not, I promise to contact every news source possible regarding this matter. To think of the lives lost for YOUR freedom of speech and this is how you choose to show your gratitude. I am quite disgusted to say the least. I am not in the journalism business and my grammar may not be spot on but I have read youth blogs more profound than your garbage today.
P.S. I have served our country and have also witnessed my brothers die for your freedom, so yes, I am biased.
God bless our United States Military during this Holiday Season and always! And may journalists like Nick Fierro take the time to seriously ponder and absorb the significance of The Star Spangled Banner.