Let Freedom Ring – America
Declaration of Independence
America truly is a unique country. I personally count myself extremely blessed to have the privilege of being an American citizen.
The United States of America has some very special components that make up our country, let’s look at a few.
To begin with do you and your family members know which song is the National Anthem?
I am continually amazed at how many people put their hand over their heart when “God Bless America” is played.
It is an inspired and moving song and one which I do like very much; however, our national anthem is…. “The Star-Spangled Banner”!
If the US flag is present when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is playing, it is proper to stand facing the flag with the right hand over the heart from the first note of the song until the last note is played/sung. Out of respect, men are to remove their hat, any hat unless military, etc.
If the flag is not present during “The Star Spangled Banner”, it is correct to face the direction of where the music is being sung or played; standing at attention with right hand over heart just as if the flag were in view.
During the song it is correct protocol to sing the words or remain silent, but saluting either way. It is NOT appropriate and extremely RUDE to use a phone, eat or drink, or talk during the national anthem.
Interesting fact: “The Star-Spangled Banner” is four verses long in its entirety, although only the first verse is typically sung. The Pledge of Allegiance, often recited before the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” can only be recited if the flag is present, although “The Star-Spangled Banner” can be sung regardless of whether the flag is present. http://www.ehow.com, source.
The Story of how “The Star Spangled Banner” came to be:
On a rainy September 13, 1814, British warships sent a downpour of shells and rockets onto Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, relentlessly pounding the American fort for 25 hours. The bombardment, known as the Battle of Baltimore, came only weeks after the British had attacked Washington, D.C., burning the Capitol, the Treasury and the President’s house. It was another chapter in the ongoing War of 1812.
A week earlier, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old American lawyer, had boarded the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay in hopes of persuading the British to release a friend who had recently been arrested. Key’s tactics were successful, but because he and his companions had gained knowledge of the impending attack on Baltimore, the British did not let them go. They allowed the Americans to return to their own vessel but continued guarding them. Under their scrutiny, Key watched on September 13 as the barrage of Fort McHenry began eight miles away.
“It seemed as though mother earth had opened and was vomiting shot and shell in a sheet of fire and brimstone,” Key wrote later. But when darkness arrived, Key saw only red erupting in the night sky. Given the scale of the attack, he was certain the British would win. The hours passed slowly, but in the clearing smoke of “the dawn’s early light” on September 14, he saw the American—not the British Union Jack—flying over the fort, announcing an American victory.
Key put his thoughts on paper while still on board the ship, setting his words to the tune of a popular English song. His brother-in-law, commander of a militia at Fort McHenry, read Key’s work and had it distributed under the name “Defense of Fort Mc’Henry.” The Baltimore Patriot newspaper soon printed it, and within weeks, Key’s poem, now called “The Star-Spangled Banner,” appeared in print across the country, immortalizing his words—and forever naming the flag it celebrated.
The Pledge of Allegiance
I found this terrific break-down of the Pledge of Allegiance. On your own, or as a family, take a minute to understand a bit more about this amazing expression of loyalty to our great United States. Click HERE to see this great article
Click HERE for an enduring, wonderful video by the timeless Red Skeleton is only a few minutes long and very well worth the entire family, despite age, to watch. The spirit of our nation will touch your heart.
The vital and crucial component to our country is the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was inspired and extremely relevant today. In fact, it is one of the most important documents that founded America, defining what it means to be an American and the basic purposes of self-government. Please take a few minutes to read the Declaration of Independence. At the below site, you can read the original text, as well as consult three annotated versions explaining the Declaration’s basic principles, its historical context, and a glossary of terms.
Teaching kids about our great holiday and country is so important. For fun and educational ways to teach kids about the flag, Declaration of Independence, Pledge of Allegiance and other holiday facts read more Click HERE
Have a wonderful holiday week, recognize the great blessings that are here in the United States of America and be a blessing to your family and country.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today