Students stand on guard for anthem

A Grade six class in St. Albert has started a campaign to stop the federal government from making changes to the national anthem.
Gov. Gen. Michalle Jean speaks with Prime Minister Stephen Harper Wednesday before delivering the throne speech which included a reference to changing the lyrics to the national anthem.
 Grade 6 students in St. Albert who were about to send letters and a petition to Ottawa to protest changes to the lyrics of the national anthem can stand down.

The federal government announced Friday that the changes proposed in Wednesday's throne speech have been scrapped because of loud opposition from across the country.

The students like the anthem just the way it is, said Carolyn Dickey, who teaches the class at Wild Rose Elementary School. When contacted by CBC News about the reversal, Dickey said her students were pleased by the decision but disappointed their project would not go ahead.

The original anthem was written almost 130 years ago, and the lyrics have changed over generations. The line "In all thy sons command" was originally "thou dost in us command."

Parliament's suggestion the lyrics should be gender-neutral was also discussed by students at Sturgeon Composite High School, where many of Edmonton's military families send their children.

"I think it doesn't mean that when we say men, we don't mean only men," said Jose Cano, a Grade 12 student. "We think mankind. I think that's what it means when we say 'sons command.'"

Another Grade 12 student, Roland Kauenhofen, agreed. "It's something we all know. It's something that we grew up with. Yeah, it's just something we don't need to change," he said.

'O Canada' didn't become Canada's national anthem officially until 1980.