COLUMBIA - Complete this phrase: "whose broad stripes and bright stars ..."
If you answered "were so gallantly streaming" or "gave proof through the night," you are, unfortunately, wrong.
But you're not alone.
Nearly two-thirds of American adults don't know the words to the national anthem, according to a Harris poll.
The National Anthem Project aims to change that by focusing on music education and finding fun ways to teach children, and adults, The Star-Spangled Banner.
The project was in Columbia this week as part of a national tour.
Most people first learn the anthem in music class, said Patti Foy, the vice president of the South Carolina Music Educators Association.
Yet music programs are threatened nationwide, she said.
"They're always endangered, every time there's budget cuts," Ms. Foy said.
The national anthem pays homage to personal freedom, said Inez Tenenbaum, the superintendent of the South Carolina Department of Education.
"In order to protect that freedom, we have to know that we fought for that freedom," she said. "And this song teaches us that."
On Monday, the project sponsored a concert and singing contest at EdVenture Museum. One contest winner from each state will be awarded $1,000 to be donated to his or her local music program and will be able to perform at a concert in Washington, D.C., next year.
On Tuesday, students sang and performed in front of the Capitol - usually the site, Ms. Foy noted, of Democrats and Republicans locked in heated debate.
"(But) one thing we have in common is our love for this country, and knowing our national anthem and being able to sing it all together, it brings us together," Ms. Foy said.
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