The Great American Battle Cry!

The War of 1812 saw the White House burned to the ground during a British invasion of Washington D.C.  War was here, on our soil.  It was during this war that Francis Scott Key penned the poem that would become the National Anthem of the United States of America.  An anthem about war for a nation birthed by war in the name of liberty and justice for all, an ideal that would send that nation to war nearly every other generation from its inception to today.

The idea that all men are created equal and are endowed with certain unalienable rights including the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is not always a popular one.  There are those greedy for power who see weakness in such ideals and others who grow envious of those living with the bounty provided by those ideals.  And so it becomes necessary to stand and fight, not only for the ideals, but the reality that accompanies them.  On September 11, 2001 we were violently reminded that our ideals and our way of life are not shared by all, that there are those in the world who would do us harm simply because the very idea of equality and the unalienable rights granted us by our creator and secured through our Constitution are appalling to them.

Yesterday, on the thirteenth anniversary of those attacks, we honored those who paid the price for the simple act of having freedom.  Today, we celebrate the 200th anniversary of that dear poem that, with eloquence and timelessness, describes the American resolve to fight for, and to defend, those ideals upon which our nation was founded.

May it serve as a reminder for us of the sacrifices laid for our freedoms and let it continue to serve as a battle cry to our enemies, a vocal reminder of the resolve of the American people and our never-ending desire to defend those rights we hold to be self-evident here in the land of the free, and the home of the brave.  Here is the poem, written by Francis Scott Key during the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, in its entirety.  Enjoy.

The Star Spangled Banner

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!

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