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Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day, and The Star-Spangled Banner examined

Happy Memorial Day, a day in honor of those veterans who died in the service of the United States of America (and no, not just for Union soldiers).

While searching for a quote that I half-remembered about "war's desolation" and those that stood between us and it, I found myself reading about The Star-Spangled Banner, the national anthem of the U.S.A. I was shamed by how much I didn't know about it (not just all the lyrics), and fascinated by its history.

While technically about a earlier and slightly different flag than our current one, this song is from a poem by Francis Scott Key, and is about his inpiration at seeing the American Flag raised as Fort McHenry was massively bombarded by British Royal Navy Ships (one of which he was, it is my understanding, currently held captive upon).

Imagine a dark and rainy night, with only the explosions of "bombs bursting in air" to light up the scene. Like camera flashes in the dark, showing this epic battle as if in a stop-motion movie. The terrific sounds, the smoke and smell of fire and gunpowder, the yelling and screaming. Truly horrific, from Key's viewpoint from one of the ships that was attacking it.

The flag flying was a statement. We were defiant, and would not give in. As long as that flag was flying, it meant Fort McHenry was still ours, and we were still fighting.

Enough jibber-jabber from me. I'm going to post the lyrics, and say no more. It's also worth going to the wikipedia page for this if you want to read the extra stanza written by Oliver Wendell Holmes in indignation to the start of the American Civil War. The whole article is interesting reading, and won't take up hardly 10 minutes of your glorious Memorial Day.:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star-Spangled_Banner

"The Star-Spangled Banner" - poem by Francis Scott Key

-

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!

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Service Care TV & Appliance Repair's Vice President, Toxey McDavid
Posted by Toxey McDavid at 2:38 PM
Edited on: Monday, May 28, 2012 3:28 PM
Categories: Community, Internet, Miscellaneous, United States of America

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

Let us remember this weekend, while we are enjoying ourselves, that there were those who died in military service to protect our freedoms and preserve our American way of life. Remember them, and honor their sacrifice.

A special thank you to active members of the military for what they do every day for us.

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Service Care TV & Appliance Repair's Vice President, Toxey McDavid
Posted by Toxey McDavid at 10:14 AM
Edited on: Monday, May 28, 2012 3:21 PM
Categories: Community, Miscellaneous, United States of America