'Tis the star-spangled banner!

Photograph of flag flying above Fort McHenry, taken by Tom Peracchio, September 2001

 

'Tis the star-spangled banner!

A Poem written on Sept. 14, 1814,
by Francis Scott Key at the Battle of Baltimore




 

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, 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, now conceals, now discloses?

Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on 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 wiped 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.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-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!

Blue and Red bar

 

In the aftermath of the terrorism of September 2001, I felt the need to do something positive, and patriotic. Living in the Mid-Atlantic region along the east coast, I have been to Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. many times, and have visited many of the symbols of America. With all the flag waving going on, I realized it was time I visited somewhere not all that far from where I lived, that I have never been, Fort McHenry. So the family and I visited the fort that was the birthplace of our National Anthem.
 

What were the circumstances of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner?  Do you know the story behind the Star Spangled Banner at the Battle of Baltimore? Check it out ...


Photograph of flag flying above Fort McHenry,
taken by Questy, September 2001.