Happy Birthday America! Deeply felt gratitude

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Happy Birthday America! Deeply felt gratitude

A few years back I was one of the people who couldn’t tell you the true words of The Star Spangled Banner – I would fill in the words I didn’t know with others. I saw the episode of 7th Heaven where the father was upset for this very reason. He told the story behind the anthem. Since then I cry and/or my voice cracks with emotion when I reach a certain part. Let me tell you the story:

The Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key. He and a few of his fellow Americans were being held captive on a ship off Baltimore Harbor. They saw the Battle raging on the shore and he wrote down what he saw. While looking up the story to get my facts straight I found out that there are actually 4 paragraphs of what he had written. I’ve included them here.

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!

I like many in this Glorious country am an immigrant. My family fled my country in the 70s when the government was looking into communism. I proudly call myself an American. I give thanks to the Service Men and Women and their families who sacrifice making my world a safe place.

The part that chokes me up and fills me with emotion “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” The part where they wake up and see the flag still flying high over Fort McHenry.

Happy Birthday America! Happy 4th!

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