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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 9: Ask not what your country can do for you, but what YOU can do for your country.

04 July 2013

O 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 through 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;
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 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.

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
-"Defence of Fort McHenry" by Francis Scott Key 1814

Did y'all know that this began as a poem written by an ameture poet an lawyer? It was written after witnessing the battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song, "To Anacreon in Heaven" by John Stafford Smith. It only became recognized as our national anthem in 1916 by president Woodrow Wilson. Crazy, huh? 

Read the poem, what does it mean to you? What does our National Anthem mean to you? I know it sounds crazy, but every time I hear it at 4:30 every evening, I fight back tears. Those are tears of pride and what that song means to our country, and what my country means to me. Not everyone has the luxury to gripe and complain, fight for what we believe in, vote, etc. As citizens, we lose sight of the power that "we the people" have. We sit back and expect everything to be taken care of for us. I think we need to grasp our freedoms, an cherish them and fight for them every chance we get.

What have YOU done for our country? It's never to late to start. . . 

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