Missing: The Star-Spangled Banner

“…The Bombs Bursting In Air…”

Can you think of anything more patriotic than the Fourth of July? It’s pretty much the height of all things American. I mean what’s more American than buying explosives and watching them explode in the sky…just because we can!

Every year, Detroit makes use of the Detroit River for this very purpose. And for reasons I have yet to understand, they always play music with these fireworks. I personally am not a fan of music during fireworks, but that’s just me.

The only consolation I have found in music-paired firework shows is that the Star-Spangled Banner always makes the playlist, as it should. It’s our national anthem—a song dedicated to our country and our freedom. It is sung in churches, and played at sporting events and when the Olympics when the USA team member earns a gold medal. It is the epitome of patriotism. We swell with pride as we celebrate the freedom this song represents.

Great (but Reasonable) Expectations

When the Fourth of July and its festivities come around each year, it’s only appropriate to play the Star-Spangled Banner during such a display of fiery patriotism. There is no better song to play during a celebration of our country’s freedom!

So, when I watched the Detroit Fireworks on TV* last night, I fully (and rightly) expected to hear this song—the national anthem—played during the show. Sure, I had to get past the crude pop songs and the twangiest country song they could find, but I knew that if I held out long enough, I’d get to hear the beloved ballad.

So I waited…and waited…and waited…

And when they played The 1812 Overture, I was ever so hopeful. My patriotic, heroic side got ready to stand up, throw my right hand upon my chest and belt out my best, most patriotic version of the national anthem with tears in my eyes and pride in my heart.

And I waited…and waited…and waited.

No anthem. No Star-Spangled Banner. No patriotism.


Seriously? This is when we celebrate the very existence of our country and we don’t even play the national anthem? Is it because we’re afraid we’ll offend someone who’s not from around here? Really? That’s like going to a birthday party and not singing Happy Birthday To You because you might offend all the people whose birthday is not that day! You wouldn’t do that! The party is happening to honor the person whose birthday it is! And so one would assume we could expect the same thing for the Fourth of July. But no song. No honor. No loyalty. No pride.

Well, God Bless America. Forgive us for our forgetfulness, our unfaithfulness, our ungratefulness, and our dreadful taste in music.

*(I know it’s a boring way to watch fireworks, but I’m not about to spend the whole day and evening downtown Detroit!)


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