The Second Lieutenant and the National Anthem | Street Jazz

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Second Lieutenant and the National Anthem

Posted By on Mon, Jun 4, 2018 at 11:01 AM

I’ve written about this fellow before, but I think his story deserves to be told anew. Back around 1971/1972, there were stories appearing in the Stars and Stripes newspaper about servicemen (some of whom were - gasp! - black) not rising for the national anthem when it played at the base theater before the movie began.

Naturally, there was great lamentation and gnashing of teeth, especially in the Letters to the Editor page of Stars and Stripes. It was sort of like reading Facebook, only people used bigger words, and weren’t hurling childish insults at everyone who disagreed with them.

It reached a high point (or low point, I suppose, if you were one of the humour-challenged) when a Second Lieutenant wrote a letter writing about the consequences to our society if everyone didn’t stand for the anthem, and that perhaps armed guards should be placed at the back of theaters armed with clubs so that they could force the resisters to their feet.

It was way too clever and funny a letter to be written by a Second Lieutenant; I can’t imagine this fellow having much of a career in the armed forces.

Naturally, as with any piece of humour, there were some who just didn’t get the memo. Letters of outrage were written by angry hands. Just imagine, though, if such a notion were to be posted on Facebook today, there would be countless inane Likes and Shares.

It was a lovely letter, though, if you were open to be a bit of sharp writing and enjoyed humour. As Jonathon Swift would be the first to tell you, though, not everybody gets the joke.

******

Today’s Soundtrack

Listening to the soundtrack from “Chariots of Fire” this morning, by Vangelis.

Who wants to go for a barefoot run on the beach?

Okay, not me so much, but you might want to . . .

*****

Quote of the Day

You own everything that ever happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better. - Anne Lamott

rsdrake@cox.net

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