'America the Beautiful' offers important lessons
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is a great national anthem. But I have also always loved "America the Beautiful."
The song is a prayer. After the well-known praising of the country's beauty, "Oh beautiful for spacious skies/for amber waves of grain/for purple mountain majesties/above the fruited plain," the song prays God to "shed thy grace on thee/and crown thy good/with brotherhood/from sea to shining sea."
Brotherhood -- from coast to coast and everywhere between! How much do we need that now? Do we need the good that brotherhood may crown?
In another verse the song prays that "God mend thine every flaw/confirm thy soul/in self-control/thy liberty in law." Yes, we have flaws that need mending. Self-control -- do we need that now? Must liberty and law conflict with each other? No, there is no liberty in lawlessness.
The recent 20th anniversary of 9/11 reminded me of this from another verse: "Thine alabaster cities gleam/undimmed by human tears." There were and are tears aplenty from the awful events of that day, but Freedom Tower and the remarkable memorial on the site speak of the great resilience of the American people.
I humbly suggest that there is much in this wonderful anthem for us to meditate on.
Russell G. Brasher, Fort Smith
Krugman's 9/11 thoughts insult the ones who died
Paul Krugman stooped to a new low, even for him, when his column on Sept. 11 dishonored the memory of the almost 3,000 innocent men and women who lost their lives to 19 Islamic terrorists in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and in the fields of Pennsylvania.
On a national day of prayer and remembrance by all Americans, especially by the relatives and friends of the people who perished that day, Krugman used his column to make a completely biased attack on a political party he constantly denigrates.
While he is entitled to his political viewpoint, he is not entitled to dishonor these 3,000 innocent human beings. I am sure his column has made many of my fellow readers sick to their stomachs and join me in holding him in utter contempt on this day that should be used to honor and remember these lost souls.
The managing editors of this newspaper need to do the right thing and immediately terminate this poor excuse for a columnist!
Steve Barnes, Eureka Springs