To the editor:
A language universally understood is nonverbal, the world's great music. The news, millions of words are war, war, war, bringing unending suffering, death and destruction of civilization itself. Our own national anthem with "the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air," phrases we cut our teeth on growing up, is loved by all. But that one phrase, especially now, is plain ironic.
Then there are those who take liberties with the tune, adding notes never written, singing their own little horrific non-operatic cadenzas, or even jazzing it up ad nauseum. "The Star-Spangled Banner" should never be messed with despite the troubling "rockets ... bombs" wording.
Better still, our national anthem should be the even more beloved "America the Beautiful," magnificent and moving. Spare me "God Bless America" which has ever rankled me. More timely, in its place: "Bless this World and All Therein."