At 8 a.m. on Day One of my swimming competition at the recent Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the music to “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played before the first event. As is my custom, I began singing. I heard no one else and felt alone in the endeavor. But then at the far end of the swimming pool a voice, a soprano voice, joined in, permeating the cavernous area, taking the lead.

Not since I heard Joan Sutherland’s soprano voice at Boston’s Symphony Hall has such a performance seemed so symbolic. Our country is divided; perhaps if we sang our national anthem together, could it not remind us of our similarities and soften our differences?

“O’er the land of the free” causes my eyes to mist. The city of Portland has once again opened its arms to migrants seeking a new and free life. Let us remember who we are and proudly sing out.

Emma Flinn

Old Orchard Beach

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