What Do You Do for a Song on Its Birthday?

Today is the 200th birthday of the Star Spangled Banner, our nation’s national anthem. What do you do for an anthem and how do you do it? I never thought about this until this year when our own federal government played loose and fee with our constitution on several fronts, but non so serious as that of religious freedoms. Somehow the original intent of the freedom of religion clause to limit the government in terms of establishing or influencing religions, not to limit the citizens of this country in the free expression of their religions. Lot’s should be done to reestablish the original intent of our Constitution but that’s for another time. Today it is about the birthday of a song that shaped a nation.

I put forth a modest proposal, that we all do two things

  1. First, learn a little about the history behind the words written by Francis Scott Key on the deck of a boat in Chesapeake Bay watching the British navy bombard Ft. McHenry on September 14, 1814. After a full night of cannon attack, Key could see the tattered flag of the United States still flying above the fort – the inspiration for the poem.
  2. Second, go beyond the National Anthem that kicks off our sporting events and get to know the other stanzas that have long been forgotten.

This is important given the attacks on religious freedom, by our own government. The fourth verse actually takes this issue head-on by reminding us of America’s founding belief in God.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved 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 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!

Happy Birthday National Anthem!


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