Last week, the directors of the Newton North High School choir declined an invitation to sing the national anthem at the 9/11 ceremony:

“One thought though that came up in our discussion is whether the national anthem would be the appropriate music anyway. We were wondering if something like “Dona Nobis Pacem” or something in that vein might be better. Just a thought.”

It is not “just a thought”! It is a mind set. “Dona Nobis Pacem” means “Grant Us Peace” in Latin and is a Christian religious prayer. Hope and prayer are not an effective strategy against a belief system bent on replacing the U.S. Constitution with Sharia Law, violently if necessary.

Through every war, Americans have always prayed for peace… but fought for and defended our democracy. As a career physician at the Boston VA Hospital, I saw the sign, “The Price of Freedom Can Be Seen Here” every day. That price was paid by over 3,000 innocent civilians on 9/11.

9/11 was just one salvo in a 1,400-year ideological war to spread a theocratic ideology. This was declared by ”Al-Qaeda’s Declaration of War Against Americans,” which states: “The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an obligation…”

So, what could possibly not be “appropriate” for our national anthem, especially on this memorial occasion: “bombs bursting in air,” “perilous fight,” “our flag was still there” penned during another battle when America was attacked?

More to the point, what does the question of “appropriateness” raise about exactly what they are “Preaching to the Choir” at NNHS: It’s our choir, they’re our kids, and it’s our future democracy at stake.

Stephen G. Gerzof

Lake Avenue, Newton Centre