“And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”
The words of “The Star Spangled Banner” were written by Francis Scott Key in 1814. In 1930, the Veterans of Foreign Wars started a petition for the United States to officially recognize “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem. Five-million people signed the petition, and it was presented to the United States House Committee on the Judiciary on January 31, 1930. The Committee voted in favor of sending the bill to the House floor for a vote. The House of Representatives passed the bill later that year. The Senate passed the bill on March 3, 1931, and President Herbert Hoover signed the bill on March 4, 1931, officially adopting “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem of the United States of America.
The message of the anthem still stirs the heart. Out of the 2016 Olympics came many stories of American pride. One such story is about U.S. Army Reserve 2nd LT Sam Kendricks. As he was running towards an attempt at the pole vault, he hears the national anthem. He immediately stops the pole vault attempt to stand at attention.
A beautiful part of “The Star Spangled a Banner” is found in a little known third stanza.
O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!