As the British launched the Battle of Baltimore at nearby Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key was detained by enemy troops on a ship eight miles out, watching the brutal battle and waiting. Though it was raining and the firing created a lot of smoke, Key saw the “rocket’s red glare” and “the bombs bursting in air.”
All through the harrowing night, anxiety filled all the people, as they nervously waited the answer to one question: who won?
It was only at dawn’s early light that Key saw the red, white, and blue, the star-spangled banner, flying high over Fort McHenry. And then, the words began to flow…
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
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?
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory 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!
Happy Independence Day…from our home to yours…
***My annual July 4th rerun!