On This Memorial Day 2014, I'm thinking of a day way back in 1814 When a young man wrote our National Anthem. I'm sure you're probably thinking "Uh Karen, today is Memorial day, It's got nothing to do with the Star spangled Banner".
You would be partially right. The song was written during the Battle of Fort McHenry. That has nothing to do with Memorial Day, but what you may not know is something happened during that battle that would show the lengths to which our forefathers would go to fight for Freedom and birth a new Nation.
Prior to the Battle beginning that day the message had been sent to the Commander of the Fort that they need only lower the flag, and that would signal their total Surrender. That would end the war and the British would win. The men at the Fort knew what would happen if the flag fell. Their New Nation would fall. The soldiers made a commitment that day that our Military still makes today. The Flag would Not Fall.
The Flag and the flag pole were hit by the rockets that night. As some of those Soldiers close to the Flag were gravely injured they would use their body's to prop the flag pole up. In the morning their dead bodies were found lying atop each other making sure that Flag did not fall. That same Love of Freedom, Country, and our Flag motivate our young men and women to make that same kind of commitment today.
I hope as you head out to the beach today or BBQ with family and friends you will take a moment to reflect on the day. I hope you will take a moment to remember the sacrifice of family members, of those who have lived in your community, or those who've had books about them written or movies made. Remember their sacrifice.
If you would like to read more about the Story behind the star spangled banner you can click on the link below.
The story behind the star spangled Banner: http://www.historybuff.com/newsletter/july08.html
An eerie silence fell across the early morning darkness and the young Baltimore attorney breathed a sigh of relief. It was after 1 A.M. on the morning of September 14, 1814 and it was the first time in more than 18 hours that things had been quiet. Since 7 A.M. of the previous day more than 1,800 bombs, cannonballs, and the new Congreve rockets had lit the sky and shattered the peaceful harbor. From the deck of his sloop behind the enemy fleet, the young Baltimore attorney breathed a sigh of relief. The flag was still there!
Upon discussing the previous night with survivors of the great battle, he learned just how much keeping the flag flying had meant to the soldiers. The flag itself was hit many times and had holes in it. In addition, several times through the night a cannon ball had hit the flag pole. It was hit enough times that the pole was actually leaning and in danger of toppling over. Brave men rushed to the pole to help prop it up with their bodies and arms. When one man holding the flagpole up was shot, another was ready to take his place. This is how they kept the flag flying all night!"