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Our view: Sing forth the fourth on the 4th

On Sunday’s Opinion page, in a letter to the editor, Duluth’s Roger Morris suggested we all should be singing the fourth verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as our national anthem rather than the first verse, which is what we all mumble along to before every baseball game and at other patriotic, hats-off, hands-over-hearts moments.

The well-known first verse ends weakly with a question and an unfinished story, Morris wrote. The fourth verse ends with a strong exclamation.

The argument was well-made, and in an editorial the News Tribune urged the fourth verse to be sung rather than the first before a Duluth Huskies baseball game. And what better day than the Fourth of July? The Huskies play the Alexandria Blue Anchors at 5:05 p.m. tomorrow at West Duluth’s Wade Stadium.

The Huskies apparently liked the idea, too.

“In honor of the Fourth (of July), we’re going to sing the fourth,” meaning the fourth verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Huskies General Manager Craig Smith announced in a phone call to the Opinion page Monday. A singing quartet is spending this week learning the almost-never-used lyrics and the always-tough-to-sing music, Smith said. The last thing he would want would be to send someone to the mic who wasn’t prepared.

We’re confident it’ll go well. And be deserving of an enthusiastic round of applause from a big, energetic crowd.

So go. Go to the game. Professional baseball in Duluth already is a rare treat; the Huskies have only 15 home games left this season. At Friday’s game you’ll also get to enjoy a rare moment of patriotism.

Better yet, go and sing along. Here are the lyrics to that fourth verse:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.