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National Anthem
Whether you're progressive or conservative, it's clear we live in troubling times. In the past few months many politicians across the board have acted foolishly. It has left me very disappointed with our government and our country as a whole. I happened across the "Star-Spangled Banner" the other day, and rather than filling me with pride, it depressed me. I see little of the spirit of freedom and bravery in the state-by-state bribery, closed-door talks, and under-the-table scheming that have been used as simple means to an end by both sides in recent issues. For me, freedom and bravery in America have become just empty words.

But then I realized our National Anthem has more verses than we sing. I've only ever heard the first verse sung, but there is more. The rest of the song is a challenge to the spirit of our country, a spirit it says will endure forever even if it seems dead. The message that America can overcome the odds, put down any enemy, and survive, is one I think we need to hear again. America is not its politics. America is an idea. It is justice, equality, and freedom, and those are things we must not sacrifice to partisanship and ideology. I have copied the REST of the "Star-Spangled Banner" below. I hope it encourages you as it did me. copy

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 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 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!

Originally published at Phronemophobia.


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