Monday, July 13, 2015

Oh, Say, Can You See?

Independence Day is past, and we in the US have reflected on our patriotism and saluted the flag and sung The Star Spangled Banner.  But do you know the story behind our national anthem?



It all started with a battle in 1814 when British ships were bombarding Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.  Francis Scott Key was an American lawyer who was on an England ship and watched overnight, wondering if when morning arrived whether the American flag or the British flag would be raised over the fort.  Imagine his relief and thankfulness when he realized that it was the American flag which flew that morning.  Here is a link to more information about his life and how he came to write these words which eventually became our national anthem.


The Star-Spangled Banner

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.
Ft. McHenry is an interesting place to visit.  There were displays inside various buildings and lots of  walkways and bunkers to explore.




Little ones love to run around old forts and see the buildings and ramparts and cannons.








"There was a JAIL here???"




Key Bridge seen from Ft. McHenry

6 comments:

Deb said...

What an interesting place to visit. I love history vacations! Thanks for sharing.

ellen b said...

Always great to read the history behind a song.
Glad you can enjoy these interesting spots with the grands!

Gracie Saylor said...

This is a place I have not visited although I once read about the history of the national anthem. Thanks for sharing your family exploration of it with us!

Faith said...

Every time we go on vacation we always seek out an educational/historical note of interest. This looks great!! yes, we actually knew some of the story behind the song as one of my daughters (I can't remember which one!) did some kind of book report or project on the national anthem for elementary school. :) LOVED your photos!! The humidity broke here in NY....hopefully you are enjoying some of the East Coast's perfect summer weather!!

Tracy said...


Hi, Willow! Wow... I've just realized how long it's been since I've sung the National Anthem... and that I'm forgetting some of the words too! :o/ LOL... Learned a lot in this post--very fun! And so sweet to see the young grands!! :o) We're finally full on summer here--we've been up to 80* F this week--ha! We've got fans running, and ice cream is adding to the love handles... LOL! Oh, and you'll never guess--I started a photo blog. Yup, blogging again... LOL! this officially makes me crazy... but we all knew that already, right?! Kind friends asked me to come back, so here I am: http://simplegiftspictured.blogspot.com ((HUGS)) Happy Summer Days!

Kari said...

I love the US anthem, i'm not even from there but whenever I hear it i always get goosebumps.
And now to have read the story about it - even more interesting.

Thanks for sharing.