Oh Say Can You See...
Monday 09-13-2010 10:46am PT
I grew up in Baltimore. When I was in the Boy Scouts we went on field trips to many historical places in and around Baltimore. We regularly took train trips to Washington, D.C. to visit places like the White House, The Smithsonian, the National Gallery, the Washington Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the FBI.
It seemed like every spring we went to Ft. McHenry, on the shores of Baltimore Harbor, birthplace of the "The Star Spangled Banner". It was on this date in 1814 that Francis Scott Key wrote that song.
I grew up learning about how Francis Scott Key was a prisoner on board one of the British warships, and how he watched the battle of Baltimore that night, and kept looking to see if our flag was still there. It was the War of 1812. You have to remember, the British had just defeated Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo and were feeling pretty invincible. Also, they had just burned the White House, Capitol Building, and most of the rest of the town. They were looking to deal us a final death blow by destroying Ft. McHenry. Imagine if that happened today!
Francis Scott Key watched from the deck of one of the English Warships. "And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there."