To the editor:
For those who served these United States of America, for those of us who lost loved ones from World War II, the Pacific Theater, the European Theater, and family who served in Korea, Vietnam and now Iraq, those of us with blue stars and gold stars in our windows, respect for "The Star Spangled Banner" is absolute. It is beautiful, moving and a part of us.
Yet more often than not, as I wait holding my breath, the singer, band, performer puts in an extra note toward the end. Then the vocal and instrumental embroidery follow, and I cringe. The same applies to sporting events.
Do be informed the hymn is sacred. Hearing it as written is glorious. Do save your cadenzas in your singing and playing this anthem, minus the note you impose on the melody, and do sing this sacred song of America's as written. If you want to have your own aria, do so in your shower at home or in opera.
This critique is long overdue; somebody had to say it. Your artistry may be great but out of place. Scratching fingers on a blackboard sounds better. Thank you.