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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Celebrating our Freedom

With the Fourth of July coming up this weekend, I want to encourage not only parents, but all adults and children to take time to learn about the past and how our country became free. We seem to be so focused on other things that we, as a country, have forgotten how we acquired our freedom. I also think we've forgotten, overall, to remember and thank our veterans.

When I received the following video from a friend, I knew I had to share it with you. This man, a veteran, gives us the words to the fourth verse of the Star Spangled Banner. He states that there is a second verse, but it is actually the fourth that he sings.

I find it to be a sad state of affairs that our children (and most adults) don't realize there are multiple verses to our National Anthem. There are four verses and I've put the text below. I hope everyone will read and remember that freedom isn't free. Brave men and women fought to earn our freedom and continue to fight to preserve it today.

To all of our veterans, I salute you!

The Star Spangled Banner, by Francis Scott Key
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 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
**Lyrics found at Wikipedia.

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