My Dad is our family historian, and I have spent my lifetime hearing incredible stories of heroes from the past. One of the best stories he regaled us with took place during the War of 1812-the night of September 13, 1814 to be exact.
An American lawyer had boarded a British ship in the Baltimore harbor several days before in an attempt to have an American prisoner released. While he was successful in completing this goal, he and his companions were detained and placed under guard because they knew of an impending British attack on the Americans. A couple of days later, on September 13 the British opened an extraordinary attack on Ft. McHenry about 8 miles away from where this group was being held. Through the afternoon and into the night they watched helplessly as the battle ensued. The night sky was a blazing red with fire and bombs and as the night slowly crept on, the detainees distressed over the fate of their fellow Americans. But as the first light started to break, the most remarkable miracle stood high in the sky—there in the smoky distance of destruction and ruin, one colorful proof of hope stood tall. The American flag was still flying indicating that the Americans were victorious in protecting their Fort.
Can you imagine the joy this young lawyer, Francis Scott Key, felt as he saw his symbol of freedom standing tall that early morning? He sat down right there and started penning his experience:
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?
Thank you to all of the people who have defended our great country to protect our freedom and way of life! What a blessing and a privilege to live in the greatest country on earth, The United States of America!
Happy Independence Day, Friends!