March 21, 2006

What ever happened to 1812?

Revolutionary War, round II:
On Sept. 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key visited the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay to secure the release of Dr. William Beanes, who had been captured after the burning of Washington, DC (including the White House). The release was secured, but Key was detained on ship overnight during the shelling of Fort McHenry, one of the forts defending Baltimore. In the morning, he was so delighted to see the American flag still flying over the fort that he began a poem to commemorate the occasion. First published under the title “Defense of Fort M'Henry,” you now know it as “The Star-Spangled Banner”. It was officially made the national anthem by Congress in 1931, although it already had been adopted as such by the army and the navy.
I love my country. I can't say that I loved it until about June-July of the year 2001. Prior to that time, I was pretty much oblivious to the blessing it is to live in these united States.
I had lived in Russia for a little over 15 months, and I'll tell you the saying is true, "you don't know what you've lost 'til it's gone." It was probably a culmination of homesickness, starvation and digestive problems I was having, as well as seeing the effects of 75 years of communism every where you looked, when I wrote a letter home. I had a fear for the people of the country, because I saw in them the same things that I saw in reading about the destruction of the Nephites. It didn't take a prophet to see that something was coming.
Because of complications from my digestive problems, I had to leave my mission early. I arrived home on August 27th, 2001. The letter I wrote was still hanging up on the ward bulletin. Ironically, it was still hanging up two weeks later when the pinnacle of the Nephite pride cycle was reached in the form of four passenger planes wreaking havoc and killing thousands.

Now, I told you all that so I could say this: It will happen again. And again. And it will only get worse, and will not stop until the heavens are pulled apart and we see Christ coming in the East. Why will it happen in our lifetime? Because it can. Never before had we the power to blow ourselves up, and never before had we the malice. I always understood the term "ripening in iniquity" the way I understood the way fruit ripens. Now I see it all around me.
Always remember, and never forget:

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' 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 thro' 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 on 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 wash'd 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 free-men shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd 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!

1 comment:

SalGal said...

Dude, you're not supposed to make me tear up when I'm sick, it just makes the snot get worse!

I love hearing your thoughts about these things. I love getting to know you better. I hope we make it out this summer so my boys can torture you. I think you're getting whipped with all those women around you!