At 7:30 am on September 14, 1814
It was just outside Baltimore at a place called Fort McHenry. There had been over 25 hours of continuous bombardment. Indeed, it had been one explosion every minute since the fort’s defenders had been attacked by the foreign invaders. All through the night’s rain storm, the fort’s smaller storm flag (17′ x25′) had courageously and defiantly flown.
At 7:30 a.m., all fell quiet. The silence was loud. The patriots, eight miles away, feared the worst: “Had the fort fallen? Had its defenders been defeated?” Time passed ever so slowly as their fear heightened. But then, the storm dissipated, the mourning’s mist and the explosion’s black powder smoked cleared from a light breeze.
And then, the American fighters could see the bright stars and broad stripes, but bigger than before. It was the garrison flag (30′ x 40′) catching the first beams of light and just starting to fly on the breeze. The flag flew gloriously with a spirit that was all American. The British were leaving in defeat, the fort’s defender’s had won, and the Star Spangled Banner was flying over the land of the free and the home of the brave! It so inspired a young lawyer patriot named Francis Scott Key, that he put his passionate heartfelt feelings on paper as a poem.
We should ALWAYS remember the the courage and sacrifice at Fort McHenry. We should also remember that freedom is not free. Today, thank those who served in our military, thank those that presently serve, and be appreciative to our founding father’s for the unalienable rights they left us to both protect and to be protected by. Go fly your flag and let it proudly fly for freedom.