Now that Baltimore has celebrated the National Anthem, perhaps we can stop desecrating it at Orioles games [Letter]

September 18, 2014

"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics come from "Defense of Fort McHenry," a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in the Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.

Baltimore should be proud of this heritage and the 200th celebration that has taken place over the last week. The Star-Spangled Banner is the most patriotic song in United States history, and it originated in Baltimore. People from all over the United States and the world have come to Fort McHenry to experience the history of that great anthem.

I am puzzled, however, on how these same Baltimore patriots who are so proud of the origin of "The Star-Spangled Banner" continually show disrespect for the anthem at every Orioles home game. Unfortunately it hasn't stopped there, and the disrespect for the anthem has spread to the likes of the Ironbirds' home games as well.

This teaches fans of all ages, some very young sports fans, to disrespect "The Star-Spangled Banner" in order to show fan enthusiasm. The Orioles' fans are not different from other fans across the nation, as they root for their team and relish in their victories; however, when they use their exuberance to disrespect "The Star-Spangled Banner," they cross the line and disrespect our anthem in favor of fan enthusiasm.

The Star-Spangled Banner, our National Anthem, should be played and sung respectfully and should not be subjected to disrespect due to fan enthusiasm.

Roy Valiant, Forest Hill

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