It was September 1814, during the war of 1812, Francis Scott Key was watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry. When he awoke, he saw the American Flag still flying high. He was so inspired, he wrote a poem called the Star Spangled Banner. The poem was later put to the tune of an English song of the day, and became the National Anthem of the United States of America.. This is the original 4 verses of the Star Spangled Banner.
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there. O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream: 'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion A home and a country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand, Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation; Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause 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!
There have been other verses that have come and gone, but during the Civil War an additional verse was added. The following is the verse added during that great war. When multiple verses of our National Anthem are sung, this verse is often incorporated.
When our land is illumined with Liberty's smile, If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory, Down, down with the traitor that dares to defile
The flag of her stars and the page of her story! By the millions unchained who our birthright have gained, We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained! And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave While the land of the free is the home of the brave.
In this time of great trial for America, we don’t know, will she survive or not. May the words of our National Anthem give hope and strength to all who hear them.
May the God of Heaven save the United States of America.