The Star-Spangled Banner



Michael Dean, chair of the Department of Music and director of vocal studies at UCLA, has trained various talent on how to sing the national anthem, from opera and pop singers to amateur vocalists.

The song is difficult, even for the most trained singer, he said, because it calls for an enormous vocal range, including the ability to sing a vowel on the highest note of the piece -- on "free" -- which physically strains the throat.

I came across the above information in abc NEWS, as I studied 'The United States,' the minimum I can do, on July 4th. The American national anthem that is mentioned in the news is 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'

There is a tragedy about being a first ranking student, or for that matter, first ranking anything. There are so many who covet the position, and a handful, who openly and secretly wish the fall of the 'first ranking person.' There are so many benefitting spectators who kick the performers and relish in their pitiful happiness about the performers' mistakes, for entertainment. And there are thankless souls, who, in the name of being critics, aim to puncture the heart of the 'first.' 

The greatest tragedy of all is the first ranking soul tearing herself apart by her own harsh judgments, leave alone the others. 

My dearest United States of America, 

Stop being the one who makes this tragic mistake! You deserve more!

'Who discovered electricity?

Who discovered the telephone?

Who invented the internet?'

Could you imagine today's world without these? And would you have the heart to brush away, stating that someone in some others' part of the world would have discovered, if the original inventors did not?


'Who influenced the global opinion on India's British rule, playing a pivotal role in Indian freedom struggle?

Who dared to challenge their own government and succeed?

Which country's constitution is still the best masterpiece ever has been written?'


'Well, who made 'Harry Potter,' even more famous, through the movies?'


I could go on and on. But, I will stop with one more thing.


'There are over 2 trillion Google searches per day in 2020, but Internet Live Stats, an excellent source for making assumptions, claims around 5.5 billion searches done on Google per day or over 63,000 search queries done per second.'


By the way, I found this by googling, 'how many google searches per day?'.


The CEO of Google is Sundar Pichai, a common man from a South Indian state, where I also happen to be from.


I have lived, worked, and traveled in many countries, in Asia, Europe, and North America, and for two decades of my life. Businesses make the hearts of the 'being of the economy,' function in every country. I have seen only in The Unites States, a person such as a brown-skinned man from India raised to such a level of career success. I have seen so many managing directors and executive directors, who grew to their rank, despite their caste, color, and creed, in 'The United States.' I have not found such a phenomenon in other countries and cities where I have worked.


This does not mean America is right in everything. It does not mean the other countries are not good enough. It is merely a recognition that in the functioning of today's world, she has been the #1 thought leader and visionary, despite her shortcomings and mistakes. This is my firm opinion.


The self-damaging blow her sons and daughters offer her and to themselves, come from innocent errors that a person who 'looks at themselves hard' make.

'We, Americans, know only one language. And that is plain English which does not have the charms of a romantic language, such as '.....'

If the entire world lives like America, we could blow off the planet.

We just think The United States is the world, and we do not know anything about anyone else. But look at that country.....'

Being critical of ourselves is an essential aspect of a grown-up.


But, America!


Is it necessary to cut the roots and attempt to lean on the un-helpful shoulders of others?

Is it necessary to burden your soul with un-erasable guilt of your mistakes than doing what you can, joyfully, to build more amazing things you have always been keen about?

Is it necessary to join the thankless souls from the world, in kicking and hurting your being, which can only be helpless against your attacks?


It is necessary to look at those thankless souls from the rest of the world, in their eyes, and feel their hearts. And, know the difference between ACTION and TALK. And understand that you are one of the souls, who still ACTS.


Even in the context of burning issues, what rips the nation apart is not the issue. But the forgetfulness of 'gratefulness' to what the mothers and fathers have done to build the country that is 'The United States.' In this forgetfulness, grows some weeds, your own ungrateful children who bring your name down. They can be corrected if most of your daughters and sons stop inflicting wounds on their souls and stop burdening their spirits with guilt.


This forgetfulness is also rendered by 'shooting your own foot,' kind of approach to mistakes and injustices. The first step to address the errors and injustices is being grateful to the foremothers and forefathers, being grateful to one another, and in the overflowing gratefulness, keep building an un-erasable monument of true love and honest efforts. 


This gratefulness comes from the understanding that you have done a lot. You are a shining symbol of merit and ethics in the world, America! You may feel you have a lot more to do. But, this day, recognize your contribution and heed to my plea!


The greatest tragedy of all is the first ranking soul tearing herself apart by her own harsh judgments, leave alone the others. 


My dearest United States of America, 

Stop being the one who makes this tragic mistake! You deserve more!


I think 'The Star-Spangled Banner' is very hard to sing, simply because it reminds us what it takes to build a nation such as You. I want your re-birth as a free soul on this day, when you achieved freedom for your body, years ago.


Yours truly,

Kamraj Sundram,

July 4, 2020

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