187 Years Ago Today

Discussion in 'General Lounge' started by Quixote, Sep 14, 2001.

  1. Quixote

    Quixote Well-Known Member

    On September 14th, 1814, amid clearing smoke over Baltimore's Fort McHenry, after a punishing, 25 hour bombardment by British ships, Francis Scott Keyes wrote the poem that in 1931 was officially adopted as our National Anthem. It is particularly noteworthy that the British had only recently ransacked Washington; burning down the White House in the process.

    It has been incredibly touching seeing the images from around the world; candlelight vigils in Finland, a moment of silence across all of Germany, all public transportation coming to a halt in Denmark, flowers left at our embassy gates all over the world, from Moscow, to Lima, to Tokyo and Beijing, where so recently there have been staged protests against the United States. But nothing prepared me for the humble gesture of Queen Elizabeth, who ordered her Royal Palace Guards to play the Star Spangled Banner at the changing of the Guards, a gesture with no precedent. Can you imagine the Marine Corp Marching Band playing God Save The Queen at a Fourth of July picnic? As I said, incredibly humble.... and humbling.

    I'm posting below the full text of the Star Spangled Banner. I hope you'll read it, particularly the little known fourth verse.

    God Bless.

    The Star Spangled Banner

    (The Defense of Fort McHenry)
    September 14, 1814
    By Francis Scott Key

    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, through 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, now conceals, now 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 wiped 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.

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

    breeze Well-Known Member

    Thanks Quixote.

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