Our National Anthem


Submitted by Matthew Gappa Council #6294

Knights of Columbus, Monsignor Thomas

Hennessy Assembly #1865

   The most recognizable song in America, “The Star Spangled banner”, is sang or played at almost every sporting or civic event. Most students learn that its foundation was written by Francis Scott Key, a lawyer, as he stood and watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. It was written originally as a poem “In Defence of Fort McHenry” but was soon put to music, a popular anthem of a musical society in England, “To Anacreon In Heaven”. It is not a widely known fact that the poem is actually four stanzas. It wasn’t until congressional action in 1931 that it became the United States National Anthem. It has led and sustained many into battle and became the common cause to defend the liberty, freedom and justice within our great country. As we draw near to Veterans’ Day this November, may we reflect on the words and honor all who have fought and sacrificed for America and hold ever dear to our hearts the four stanzas.


In Defence of Fort McHenry

Frances 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 homes 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!