Haley Myers showed up for school this morning wearing a red, white and blue sweater and red slacks that she accessorized with a red, white and blue bandanna.

Myers was one of several sixth-graders who took part in a special music program at Temple Hill Elementary to commemorate Francis Scott Key’s writing of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which occurred on Sept. 14, 1814.

The program began with the students reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance,” and ended with the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Temple Hill students have been studying the history of “The Star Spangled Banner” in their music class, which is taught by Ruby Edwards.

“The Music Educators National Conference has been sponsoring a project for the past year called the National Anthem Project,” Edwards said before the start of the program. “So we are doing this program as a celebration of our national anthem. We normally sing our national anthem once a week during our town meeting, so the students know all the words.”

The MENC has found most Americans do not know the words to the national anthem, she said; and that is why the organization launched this project.

Katy Harvey, a sixth-grader who also took part in the program, said she and her classmates have been studying a lot of things in relation to “The Star Spangled Banner,” like why it was written.

The most interesting thing she learned in studying the history of the song, she said, was that it started out as poem before becoming a song.

Since learning the words, Myers said she has caught herself singing it outside of class.

After the program, she spoke about her favorite part of the song, which is near end and talks about “the land of the free and the brave.”

“It just says that everybody is free,” she said.

Myers likes that part, she said, because it reminds her of all the people who have gone to Iraq to continue fighting for Americans’ freedom.

Chelsea Northrup, another program participant, also likes the end of the song.

“We have fought for our freedom and we have a lot of great people who have gone out to fight for our freedom,” she said.

Northrup also finds herself singing the song at times.

“It pops into my head when I see the people in Iraq on TV,” she said.


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