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SENTRY JOURNAL » Uncategorized » Sept 14, 1814: The day our colors inspired a nation

Sept 14, 1814: The day our colors inspired a nation

I could spend an entire post writing about the events of a September morning in 1814.  It was on this morning when a young attorney from Baltimore named Francis Scott Key gazed across the Baltimore harbor to see our flag still flying high above Fort McHenry after 25 hours of continuous bombardment from British ships in the Baltimore harbor.  When he saw that the Fort had not surrendered to the British after the relentless assault throughout the night he was inspired.  The flag represented the strength and freedom of his young nation and with it flying so proudly on that morning he put what he was feeling to words.  These words would eventually become the lyrics to our national anthem.

Bombardment of Fort McHenry

 

These are the words he put to paper.

 

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 rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, 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! Oh 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!

Oh! 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!

Below is a great video clip narrated by David Barton about the history of the Star Spangled Banner.

YouTube Preview Image

God Bless America.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

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