Why is it that those invited to sing The Star-Spangled Banner in public nowadays sometimes think that they must "stylize" our noble national hymn? It is not about them; it is about our country.

It has its own tune, rhythm and tempo. It is not in need of "correction" and "improvement" by those who seek -- successfully -- to give the impression that their musical abilities are self-taught. It has been refined by 200 years of use, and the "soul" has already been provided by generations of Americans in and out of uniform.

An attitude. of reverence and respect instead of assault must be adopted those who sing our national anthem in public.

Sing it as it is supposed to be -- as it is. written -- instead of trying to turn it into a "personal musical statement." It speaks for itself.

Stan Zegel