Veteran's Day Remembrance
I was looking at pictures of flags, pictures that could express a symbol of thanks...to all the board Veteran's....ALL of our Veterans...and came across this one. Of all the bright, vibrant, breeze waving flags on the internet, I decided to go with this one. The war-tattered, aged, faded one was the one that touched me. I have been lucky enough to see this flag, displayed at the Smithsonian.
Of all the millions of exhibits I had seen that day, this image was blazed on my mind forever. There are so many things we do as Americans everyday, without thinking, going through the motions, because we have the freedom to do that. Like singing the Star Spangled banner. Most of us rarely sing out loud, even more probably don't know the words.
So today, let's take a minute to remember, to thank, to pray, to reflect,
and honor those men and women who have their lives, made freedom a career, suffered permanent damage, endure lingering nightmares, or have given the ultimate sacrifice of their courage with their lives.
And the next time you see a flag, remember this one......
STAR SPANGLED BANNER
Fifteen Stars and Stripes
The flag has 15 stars and 15 stripes as provided for by the Act of Congress approved January 13, 1794. Passage of the Act of Congress of April 4, 1818, reduced the number of stripes to 13 and provided for one star for each state--a new star to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state. The Star-Spangled Banner is one of the very few 15-star, 15-stripe flags in existence.
Birth of a National Anthem
The truce ship carrying Francis Scott Key, Dr. William Beanes, and John S. Skinner, the agent in charge of negotiations with the British for prisoner exchanges, reached Baltimore at twilight on Friday, September 16, and the Americans were released. Key took a room in the Indian Queen Hotel and revised the draft of the poem he had written and made additions. The next day he showed it to his brother-in-law, Capt. Joseph Nicholson, who urged that it be published. Copies were printed on handbills at a local newspaper office over the weekend and were distributed to everyone at the fort. Called originally, "The Defense of Fort McHenry," the title soon was changed to "The Star-Spangled Banner." The poem was set to the music of a popular English song, "To Anacreon in Heaven." Key used this melody in an earlier musical effort, and it may have been in his mind when he wrote about the flag over the fort.
The first public performance of the words and music together took place at the Holliday Street Theatre in Baltimore on October 19, 1814. A Mr. Hardinge sang the song after a performance of the play, Count Benyowsky. Although it gradually became popular as a patriotic air, the "Star-Spangled Banner" did not become our national anthem until 1931, when it was so designated by an Act of Congress.
Sewing the Star-Spangled Banner
Mrs. Mary Pickersgill of Baltimore, a maker of ship's banners and flags, manufactured the Star-Spangled Banner with assistance from her daughter, Mrs. Caroline Purdy. Mrs. Pickersgill did the work on contract with the U.S. government for the sum of $405.90. Made of first-quality long-fibered English wool bunting (for this type of cloth was not produced in America at that early date), the flag was begun in July 1813 and completed on August 19. It was raised at Fort McHenry soon after.