Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend

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It was Saturday morning I woke up early as daylight was starting to peek through the curtains. I knew something exciting was waiting for me today, but I wasn’t sure what, and I had nothing planned. It was just nice to have a day off from work.  I really wanted to make the most of the day. I knew that lying in bed was just burning daylight. Still lying in bed I rubbed the sleep from my eyes as I tossed and turned a few times. That was enough to alert Maddi the Border collie, who sleeps at the foot of my bed, she knew it was time to get up. She walked over to the side of my bed, with a big doggy smile wagging her tail wildly, anxiously waiting for me to get out of bed. I slowly crawled out of bed and quickly got dressed. I walked to the back door, and left Maddi outside to take care of business. Back inside, while waiting on Maddi, I reached for the remote and turned on the television. It was Memorial Day, a holiday in the United States. The news was captivating with stories of ways to celebrate the holiday weekend. I started thinking Memorial Day is more than just a three-day weekend marking the unofficial start of summer. It’s actually been an official national holiday for over 40 years aimed at remembering those who served in the armed forces. The holiday actually began after the Civil war and was known as “Decoration Day” As I watched the news stories it made me pause to think about all the sacrifices many have made to preserve our freedoms. Freedom of speech and most important freedom of religion. We should all give thanks and honor those who have served in the United States military, and most of all those that made the ultimate sacrifice that lost their lives serving for our freedom.   Technology has brought us to period in time, where we can watch instantly on television as events play out live. That luxury did not exist back on the night of September 13-14, 1814 when Francis Scott Key witnessed the battle of Baltimore at Fort McHenry as he described the events of the battle that would later become the  “Star-Spangled Banner” His descriptive words paints a vivid picture that  brings the reader close to the experience he felt that night. I am not sure that everyone appreciates the message that was outlined in each verse, but what a masterful piece of writing.

(The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key, 1814)

O 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 through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through 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 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, 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 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.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes 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![1

(The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key, 1814)

So as we celebrate this Memorial Day weekend with backyard parties, please remember to take some time and give thanks to those who have served our country. I turned off the television and left Maddi ,the Border Collie, back inside the house. Now I am fully energized to start my day with a greater sense of appreciation for our great country. O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave “God Bless America”

May this find you well and happy, God Bless

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star-Spangled_Banner (May 23, 2015)

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