Depressed and offended at service

Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2001

I attended Friday's Juneau community service held in remembrance of the U.S. citizens killed in the terrorist attacks on the United States. As happens on most important occasions, Juneau's citizens turned out in large, supportive numbers for the "non-denominational" service at Centennial Hall. It was comforting to see so many people supporting our country and to see so many red, white and blue ribbons and/or the American flag being worn by attendees.

I was pleased when we sang "God Bless America" and was touched when the bagpipes played "Amazing Grace" and everyone began singing even though we weren't invited to do so.

However, in spite of all that, I left depressed and slightly offended. I cannot believe a community service held for this purpose would not include a Pledge of Allegiance to our flag and someone singing the national anthem. Instead we heard some "non-sectarian" song with an obscure, albeit "politically correct," message.

As each member of the "leadership" came to the podium I expected to hear a call for the Pledge of Allegiance. I particularly expected it when Juneau's mayor came to the podium. Then I thought, "Oh, our lieutenant governor must be going to call us to honor our flag." But no, that wasn't her message at all. It would have been wonderful if the lieutenant governor had chosen to sing the national anthem she has a beautiful voice.

I was told the lack of national allegiance was because the service was put together so hurriedly. However, in England they even sang "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Changing of the Guard as ordered by the queen. It would seem the local community would have been more thoughtful than the queen of England. But alas, that was not so.

Dot Wilson


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