sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Saturday, July 2, 2011

It moves me!

In 1814, about a week after the city of Washington had been badly burned, British troops moved up to the primary port at Baltimore Harbor in Maryland. Francis Scott Key visited the British fleet in the Harbor on September 13th to secure the release of Dr. William Beanes who had been captured during the Washington raid. 

The two were detained on the ship so as not to warn the Americans while the Royal Navy attempted to bombard Fort McHenry. At dawn on the 14th, Key noted that the huge American flag, which now hangs in the Smithsonian's American History Museum, was still waving and had not been removed in defeat. The sight inspired him to write a poem titled Defense of Fort McHenry. 

The poem was eventually set to music that had originally been written by English composer John Stafford Smith for a song titled "The Anacreontic Song". The end result was the inspiring song now considered the national anthem of the United States of America. It was accepted as such by public demand for the next century or so, but became even more accepted as the national anthem during the World Series of Baseball in 1917 when it was sung in honor of the brave armed forces fighting in the Great War. The World Series performance moved everyone in attendance, and after that it was repeated for every game. Finally, on March 3, 1931, the American Congress proclaimed it as the national anthem, 116 years after it was first written.

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

It never ceases to move me.

8 comments:

  1. I to have always been moved by our anthem. and for those out there who think its all just blooey or divisive as so many say, just go to a Blackhawks game and witness the playing of the anthem.

    I've posted on this before and it never fails to amaze me. Even though the applause and cheering that is deafening to say the least, one can hear the people singing our anthem! When you look around, tears a flowing down the cheeks of almost everyone. This is love of country kids!

    After the Hawks won the cup, 2,000,000 people showed up for the parade and ceremonies! 2,000,00 people cheering and singing the anthem. And you could hear them!!

    Love of country isn't a joke! Love of country is a real, live emotion! On this Independence Day weekend, all of us need to remember that! Our anthem is a song of beauty. It is a love song! It is our heart and anyone out there who doubts that should have their heads examined!

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  2. Joetote- I don't think that it moves 'progressives' or the 'entitled' who eat other men's bread in the same way.

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  3. God Bless America ... Happy 4th of July Everyone and a special one to you LL, for you had me singing.

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  4. This sort of thing is required every now and then.

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  5. When I sing the third verse, I think of all of the people who would be thrilled to take what we have. -- and how their blood has and always will wash out their 'foul footsteps pollution'.

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  6. I agree with Odie, God Bless America!

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  7. Well done

    Happy Independence Day to your and yours, sir

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