FtMcHenry2You’ve probably been to a ball game where the crowd was encouraged to sing along to the National Anthem, the Star Spangled Banner.  Yes it’s hard to sing.  But if you ever get a chance to visit Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland and walk around the Fort you may just find it becomes a much easier song to sing.
On one of the days that we visited there was a re-enactment in progress and my son had the chance to hunker down in a bunker with several patriots and hold one of the muskets.  Standing there with all of the participants dressed in the official uniforms connected us even more with the living history of the site where our National Anthem was penned.

Travelers Note: Be sure and get your passport stamped while you are there!

FtMcHenryThe Star Spangled Banner

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.

The Star-Spangled_BannerAnd 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 home 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!