Thursday, March 13, 2014

By The Dawn's Early Light


Our time changed this past weekend, which means I have been driving to work in the dark.  Today, I saw a beautiful sight...a very large American flag which with our high winds made it very visible. You can picture it, can't you, a large flag fully extended against the black sky with just the beginning orange outline on the horizon?  It was still so dark, that I could not make it out  yet, I could only see that it was a flag.  My heart lifted when I got closer and I could see the familiar Stars and Stripes!  I thought of the story of Francis Scott Key and the writing of "The Star Spangled Banner", which he wrote originally as a poem "The Defence of Fort McHenry". 

 Francis Scott Key,  click on his name there and you can read the wonderful story behind the writing of what is now the National Anthem for the USA.  It's a great story and great song..  And before anyone tells me this, I already know that the tune was really a drinking song in England, but hey, so what, it sounds better to these stirring words...
Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through 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 the home of the brave?

I am reading a wonderful book just now, and it is a true story from World War II.  The ship, the SS Leopoldville carrying troops across the English Channel was torpedoed on Dec. 24, 1944.  At first, the soldiers were glad  to see the crew manning the lifeboats, but when they realized that the crew were only preparing the boats for THEMSELVES and that they were leaving the soldiers on a sinking ship, the men began to sing "The Star Spangled Banner", and those who survived it, recalled how very moved they were to hear them sing this song.  I will tell you more about this book, I promise you that.
 Quite a few examples of "The Star Spangled Banner" on YouTube, I hope you like the one I have here for you. 



  1. I've walked all the paths in Panola Mtn. State Park. And enjoyed it highly. I still have the North side of Arabian Mtn. to go, and the Horse Park suits me for right now, as the scenery matches the weather. And I usually don't walk the same trails twice, as there's so many, unless I have to travel one to get to another. And if I have to drive to get to the trails, that's fine. I love the ones at Factory Shoals down by Lake Jackson. I'll have to send you my Google Earth path drawings from the West Rockdale Co. area.

    1. Make sure you don't miss the wildflowers at Arabia Mountain and also, on the rock outcrop trail at Panola Mountain! See you on the trails!!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Kay! So nice to see your comment here!

  3. I do love to see our Flag flying. It is always inspirational. I'm grateful to be living in the land of he free and the home of the brave.

    1. Me too! And HA! Guess what we do in Atlanta, at our baseball games when we sing, we say the home of the BRAVES! :-)

  4. A country's flag should at all times be is who we are as a people and as a nation.

    That sounds like a very moving book...

    1. When I lived in England, I will never forget how proud and happy I felt when I saw the "Stars and STripes"!
      You will hear more about the book, I promise! :-)

  5. I received a book for my 21st birthday that I still have. The penguin book of best American verse which has examples of favourite quotes, poems and lines in American history. Stirring words.
    One line that always makes me laugh in a famous poem by F.S. Key's friend you will also know is the warning to solder's that have been heckled in the street by an old women...
    " who touches a hair on yon grey head dies like a dog- march on.

    1. What a great book and you still have it! "Shoot if you must this old gray head, but spare my country's flag"! Any friend of Francis Scott Key is okay in my book! Did you know that F. Scott Fitzgerald was a distant relative of F. S. Key? He was named after him, his name was Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald! (I only learned that when I was writing that post!)