Ever since September 11, 2001 The Star Spangled Banner has held a much dearer place in my heart. For some reason as that tragic event unfolded, this song kept going through my mind. Many times since then, particularly on major holidays, or the anniversary of September 11th, the first thing I will do in the morning is turn on the tv to check and see "if the flag was still there".
Six or seven years ago, I went to Washington D.C. on vacation with a friend. I had been wanting to go the Smithsonian Museums for years and see all the sights of D.C. I was scheduled to arrive in D.C. a few hours before my friend's plane got in. We were to meet at our hotel--the Hay Adams (will have to tell you more about the Hay Adams in a future article; absolutely an amazing place to stay and LITERALLY overlooking the White House).
The first thing that I did when I got to the hotel (after checking in), was to hail a cab and go the Smithsonian Museum of American History in search of the REAL Star Spangled Banner. Upon arriving at the Museum, I practically ran to the display of the Star Spangled Banner, which takes up a huge room. It was a very profound moment for me; standing in front of my REAL Star Spangled Banner; which had witnessed those rockets' red glare so many years ago. Since that time, the banner has gone through some very high tech procedures for restoration as it was in quite a state of dilapidation.
THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER
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 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?