Etc...

A token of our esteem

Well, so much for the idea of a backlash against Muslims. In San Antonio recently, police evacuated the area around a mosque that had received harassing phone calls since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A suspicious briefcase was found outside. Did it contain a bomb? No, inside was $1,600 in cash - apparently intended as an anonymous goodwill donation.

O say can you sing? Maybe inspiring anthems will help For Americans who butcher the words to "The Star Spangled Banner," the National Association for Music Education wants to help. The organization has established the National Anthem Project to put the two out of three adults who admit they don't know all the words on the right track. As part of its awareness/education campaign, the association has selected five great moments in the anthem's sports history. Those responsible for the memorable renditions and a brief description of what made each special:

1. Jesse Owens/1936 Olympic Games Sprinter defied Hitler and Nazi propaganda in Berlin to win three gold medals, then proudly accepted them as "The Star Spangled Banner" was played.
2. US hockey team/ 1980 Winter Olympics After shocking gold medal triumph over the Soviet Union, captain Mike Eruzione sang the anthem on the medals podium, joined by his teammates.
3. Whitney Houston/ Super Bowl XXV Pop star's stirring rendition helped to galvanize a nation during the Gulf War.
4. Maurice Cheeks/ 2003 NBA Finals Portland Trailblazers coach joined in singing with a 13-year-old soloist when she forgot the words.
5. US women's soccer team/2004 Olympics Every member of the team belted out the anthem in an emotional tribute to their final game together.

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