The National Anthem of the USA
"Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' 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 home of the brave?"
About the Star Spangled Banner
On September 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key visited the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay to secure the release of Dr. William Beans, who had been captured after the buring of Washington, D.C. The release was secured, but Key was detained on ship overnight during the shelling of Fort McHenry, one of the forts defending Baltimore. In the morning he was so delighted to see the American flag still flying over the fort that he began a poem to commemorate the occasion. Entitled "The Star-Spangled Banner," the poem soon attained wide popularity as sung to the tune "Ancreon in Heaven." The origin of this tune is obscure, but it may have been written by John Stafford Smith, a British composer born in 1750.
"The Star-Spangled Banner" was officially made the National Anthem by Congress in 1931, although already adopted as such by the Army and Navy. Its central theme, our country's survival through bitter strife, parallels the passing by West Point graduates of their first crucial test in battle.
"The Star-Spangled Banner" has attained a position of reverence, and each time the Corps stands retreat ceremony to its strands it serves as a reminder of our duty to country.
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The Star-Spangled Banner (The National Anthem of the USA)
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