Friday, July 4, 2014

The Home of the Brave...by Mary Hazlett

I thank my teachers for so much that I have been taught by them.  Why am I mentioning teachers on this amazing day of United States patriotism...well, because I will never forget Mrs. Hill.  She was my outstanding 8th grade World History teacher.  She would start every class with this, "Before I teach you of World History, I have to teach you about this wonderful country you live in".  Mrs. Hill would then deliver a most patriotic story of a hero or heroes in the United States history, usually she finished her stories with at least a tear or two and with a permeating love of her country.  After her amazing story told to us, the class would stand and sing all four verses of The Star Spangled Banner.

I still know all the words to our beautiful national anthem.  What a beautiful story it unfolds.  Do you know all the verses?  Well, take a minute and read them.  

The first verse asks a question:

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?
The second verse answers the question:
On the shore, dimly seen thro’ the mist 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 on the stream
‘Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
The third verse is about the siege of the English failing and our home constantly being threaten to return to English rule:
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 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.
The fourth and final verse....says it all!  It has the perfect mix of patriotism, piety, and honor.  
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n – rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,
And this be our motto–”In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

So, now that I am a grown woman with children of my own, I LOVE my country.  With tears in my eyes, I salute all the service men and women of this country.  Thank you for protecting my home, my family, my faith, and my future.  And some of you may wonder how I begin my Fourth? ...  Well, with this awe inspiring presentation of "The Star Spangled Banner" blaring through my speakers with windows and doors open!!!

"Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just, and this be our motto- 'In God is our trust'."

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