Star Spangled Banner: Reflecting on the Founding Ideals of the U.S.

Jul 1, 2016 | Americas, Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms

Reflecting on the Founding Ideals of the United States of America: Start Spangled Banner

Reflecting on the Founding Ideals of the United States of America: Star Spangled Banner

At its founding, the United States was dubbed a “great experiment” created, not as with most nations, a result of hundreds or thousands of years of shared history and culture. Rather, it was founded by a relatively diverse group of peoples who seized a moment to cast a vision of a nation built on principles and shared values

The country was unique in the world at the time, borne out of an effort to build a society based on “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, or self-evident, universal principles and values shared by its diverse peoples. While many had their doubts about the feasibility of such a cause, today we celebrate the 240th Independence Day of a country that has risen to become a leader in the international community.

In trying times, the people of our country need to look back to the founding ideals as a touchstone, to re-remember together as a community the principles and values that made the country exceptional. The ideals found in the stories, symbols and songs of the nation point back to what it is that we hold most dear and what binds us together in common cause. With these lessons in mind, we take time to reflect on the national anthem of the United States of America:

The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics

By Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, 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 thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, 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! Oh 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!

Oh! 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!

What are the values captured here in this song? What are the lessons we need to re-remember today?

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