Monday, June 14, 2010

It's Flag Day

My son followed me into law enforcement. He is, I say without humility, an impressive man who is just over 6'4" tall and weighs in at 260+.  And he carries it well having played tight end for Boise State a dozen or so years ago. He's also an excellent shot, a loving and gentle father of 3 and, surprisingly enough, a pretty fair singer. I swear that neither his mother nor I can claim credit for the singing because neither of us could carry a tune in a bucket; but he can and does. To my knowledge, however, he only performs one song outside of the hymns in church and that's The Star Spangled Banner.

As a member of the Honor Guard for his department he and two others (now three others so it's a quartet) originally started singing the National Anthem at department ceremonies. They moved on from there to singing it at Boise State University Commencement exercises and other official gatherings throughout Idaho. Last year the quartet traveled to Ft. McHenry in Baltimore and sang the Anthem at it's birthplace exactly 195 years after the battle that provided the inspiration to Francis Scott Key. It was a very proud moment to watch my son and his fellow officers sing the National Anthem that day as the nation commemorated that battle so long ago. Honoring the flag is a serious undertaking for those young men and they all qualify to be called Patriots.

And they can sing all four verses. I can think of no more appropriate post for Flag Day than that.

The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics
By Francis Scott Key 1814

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?

On the shore, dimly seen through 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 in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh 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 washed 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!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory 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!

May it always fly proudly.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

He is an impressive singer, Dad. And the National Anthem is in our Hymn Book! I love singing it in Church near or around the 4th of July. (And we sing all four verses then also!) ;-)