Happy Birthday, America

As we celebrate the 240th anniversary of the birth of this great nation, let us reflect on the words penned so long ago by the great American Poet, Francis Scott Key.

Key, an Attorney, had boarded a British ship anchored outside Ft. McHenry to negotiate the release of an American prisoner.  While there, he and his travel partner John Skinner, heard of British plans to attack the fort.  The British held both men captive and began a 25 hour bombardment of the American fort.  The following morning, Key looked out over Baltimore, concerned for his fellow patriots.  With hopeful eyes, he scanned the horizon and saw the American flag, still standing in the air.  Inspired by this moment, Key began to write:

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s 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 in 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 wash’d out their foul footstep’s 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 lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d 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.

Seldom do we hear the last three verses, yet they too carry an important message.  In light of the recent turmoil we see in the news, the last four lines of the last verse seem especially poignant.

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.

When our cause is just, we must conquer.  Our motto being that we trust in God.  When both of those criteria are met, the Star Spangled Banner shall wave triumphantly over OUR land, America, the home of the free and the brave.

Friends, let us ever be brave and bold as we come to affront the ills of the world.  Let us stand united in defense of each other and the great freedoms we enjoy.  Let us seek to lift one another up in the spirit of love and pride.  Then, only then, can we continue to be a great nation, charging forth ever valiant and strong.

God bless America, and Happy 4th of July.

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Christopher

Christopher is a bonafide pizza snob, and loves spontaneous adventures to wherever the skies deem fit.

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