‘Oh Say Can You See’

Many of us know the patriotic songs from our childhood days in elementary school and find ourselves singing along with the crowd at sports events. “The Star Spangled Banner” is a staple as the pre-game song at various games.

But did you know the source and origin of these patriotic songs? Who wrote them? What was the author’s inspiration?

“America the Beautiful” was written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1893 as she traveled the Rocky Mountains up to the height of Pikes Peak and marveled at the breathtaking sight spreading below her miles upon miles. Katharine was originally from Massachusetts and was working a summer instructing English at a college in Colorado. Because she was so enamored of the glory of Pikes Peak, she quickly wrote down the lyrics after an exhaustive trip up by wagon and then mule.

Our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner” was born at Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor. Francis Scott Key was an American lawyer, author and poet from Georgetown. Key wrote the poem after watching British warships bomb the Baltimore Harbor in the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. He was moved emotionally watching the flag fly freely during the firing. Later, the poem was set to the tune of a British song written by John Stafford smith called “To Anacreon in Heaven.” The “Star Spangled Banner” was made the national anthem on March 3, 1931 signed by Herbert Hoover. The special flag flown in the Baltimore Harbor that day back in 1812 can be viewed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

As we enter into our Memorial Day weekend acting as the gateway into the hot summer days of picnics and days by the pool, we want to remember those in our hearts who have risked their lives and the many we have lost. These are our very special vets and to show our appreciation, there is proper etiquette for the display of our flag. 

As the flag passes by in your presence, please stand, remove hat and place your right hand over your heart. It is such a small thing to show our appreciation and respect to our vets and current day soldiers serving. And after the last float, flag, and veteran members of our Troy Memorial Day parade passes, don’t forget to have a wonderful and fabulous summer.

Don’t forget to follow the Troy Memorial Parade over to Davison Green to watch and participate in the Memorial Day Services.

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