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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    Another perspective on ‘Banner’

    Mr, Dillingham, I purposely waited nearly a week to respond to your July 1 opinion piece “”‘Banner’ due for retirement.”” I did not want to respond with such high emotions on the day I read your article, as I would probably come to regret my chosen words.

    So I waited, and I re-read your article. And I wanted my response to teach you something, not just provide an opposing opinion.

    I am 45 years old. I served 21 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. In those 21 years, I was privileged to have been stationed in, trained in, or visited, Southern California, Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Hawaii, Okinawa Japan, Yokosuka Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Jordan. I feel I am duly qualified to tell you that you and I live in the greatest country on earth.

    I don’t know how well you researched before you wrote your opinion, but I never received a call from you. I will tell you now without any hesitation, that no anthem stirs me up, no other “”song”” causes a chill up and down my spine, and nothing inspires me more than “”The Star Spangled Banner.””

    It is not my intent to belittle you, but it is my guess that you are probably in your early 20s, if not younger. You are aspiring to accomplish great things in your life. You are probably very impressionable and are beginning to form ideas in your mind, that sound good, and it causes you to gravitate to those ideas and the people who inspire you. I know. I was there too. You hear something that sounds good and right, and you kind of adopt it as either your own thought, or something that you too agree with.

    The problem I had, and the problem that young people have who develop strong opinions about something is that, at that age, we lack any life experience for a foundation to give our opinions any semblance of credibility. Think about this, Justyn: what can you provide as foundation for your conviction that “”The Star Spangled Banner”” should be retired? I challenge you to develop a majority opinion amongst veterans and their families that agree with you. If your opinion had been submitted by say, a WWII veteran, and he had the support of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, or any other veteran group, it would carry a lot more weight and maybe cause some people to think about the proposal.

    But lacking that foundation and life experience, an opinion that “”sounds good’ actually backfires and you lose credibility. This has nothing to so with stifling things you believe in. I’m just telling you that if you want to impact an audience, you have the experience to back up your message.

    Justyn, if “”The Star Spangled Banner”” is played correctly, or sung well without adding any kind of flamboyant deviation from the manner in which it was designed to be sung, I actually get tears in my eyes. “”America the Beautiful”” is about the land we occupy. Anyone could “”occupy”” this land, but it wouldn’t be the same as it is now. “”The Star Spangled Banner”” is about our people, Americans, and the American spirit. It is not boring, and it is very inspiring to me. I will go out on a limb and say that it inspires many more Americans than what your “”research”” found. Or did you even research or conduct a scientific poll?

    You write well, Justyn. You are the future of this country. Trust me when I tell you that many of the things you believe in today, many of the things you agree with today, many of the convictions you have today, will change a lot when you get married, have children, have a mortgage, insurance, career, and other experiences that affect who you will eventually become. You’re probably not even going to be listening to the same music 20 years from now. Give life a chance. Opine about those things you have lived to talk about, and be careful about speaking for other people without their approval.

    David M. Caballero
    University of Arizona Police Department

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