Did you ever find yourself watching a professional sports program on TV and just before the game starts, the crowd pauses to sing the Star Spangled Banner? Everyone in the crowd stands up and with great pride, sings our National Anthem. The TV cameraman pans the audience to capture this amazing display of patriotism often found throughout our country. Some people in the crowd are seen as standing at attention, holding their right hand over their heart. Some are saluting. Some are looking straight ahead while others are looking down. Some are standing quietly in reverence while others are rocking from side to side with anticipation of the game. Everything looks good! Then the cameraman zooms in further. He closes in on people's faces. There you begin to witness something that happens all too often. As you watch the TV screen, you see many people singing out with pride and lots of gusto. But then, there in the crowd, someone appears to be struggling with the song. "Do they know the words?" someone asks. "I don't know" another person replies. " It's hard to tell." If you look closely, some such individuals actually try to lip sync the words. The problem is their lips are barely moving...like maybe their face is frozen or something. When the song finally comes to an end and so does the person's embarrassment, they return home after the game without ever really getting to know the words.
Well, today that changes...at least on our website! Everyone visiting us needs to know the Star Spangled Banner. And for the sake of those who might think that our National Anthem has a Spanish twist to it, the song does not begin with, "Jose can you see!" Seriously?!
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 rockets' 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?
Notice the song is made up of questions? Take a look. How many questions do you see?
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the National Anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics came from a poem called "Defense of Fort McHenry," written September 14, 1814 by a 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet. His name was Francis Scott Key. He wrote the poem after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in the Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large American flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the American victory that occurred. The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song in those days. It was written by John Stafford Smith (get this), for a men's social club in London. That's right! Check it out.
For more information about our flag, Google it on your computer. You will be surprised at what you find and, ultimately, you will find yourself proud to be an American. This is a special and beautiful country...a place where it's an honor to live in the land of the free and home of the brave. God bless the USA.