Regarding our national anthem, I found merit in both letters on the subject, July 16, "It's time for a new national anthem," and July 23, "No need to change our great anthem." Even if we wanted a change, I don't think it would ever happen considering the anthem is so much a part of our history. If it serves to unite our citizens and dignify our patriotism, then it should remain as an important national symbol.
However, as a composer, I agree that it does not lend itself easily when sung by the average person. First, its range is much too extended and the word "free" on the highest note is difficult to manage. Few soloists can handle it well. Overall, the lyrics are better than the melody even though some might find them a bit dated and fixated on the one historic event.
I much prefer the warm and moving "America, the Beautiful," for both its music and the beauty and sentiment of its verse.