Our Anthem Does Not Pander

29 04 2006

I am picking up on Michelle Malkin’s Star Spangled Banner-a-thon and, instead of hijacking the song to mean we are an open arms country that caters to whiners, we re-focus on the history of our national anthem, how it was written, and what it stands for.

For you history buffs, here is a Wikipedia copy of Francis Scott Key’s original manuscript of the “Star-Spangled Banner” poem.

The text:

(The Defense of Fort McHenry)
September 20, 1814
By Francis Scott Key

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, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

You know, the last few lines of the 4th stanza really has to irk you humanists, and the ACLU. Fact is, Francis Scott Key watched his country get attacked from a boat in the harbor. If you could be in NYC on 9/11/01, but were confined to a boat, and unable to help, what is the only other thing you could do?

That’s right. Pray.

To tie the historical context of this anthem to today’s events, we need look no further than this line:

“…through the perilous fight.”

What fight? The British were trying to invade Baltimore through a harbor. The citizens of Baltimore knew what was going to happen, yet they did not pander. They stayed in their city to defend it and do their best to hold the enemy off.

This sacred anthem of the U.S.A. is not about pandering and catering to everyone’s demands. It’s about standing up for what you know is right.

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