Deptford remembers anniversary of national anthem creation

This week marks the 208th anniversary of successful poet and lawyer Francis Scott Key penning the Star-Spangled Banner.

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The story behind the anthem goes that on Sept. 14, 1814 (during the War of 1812) Francis Scott Key witnessed the English bombardment of Fort McHenry. After the smoke cleared, he saw our flag still waving, and was inspired to write the now famous poem ( editors).

It wasn’t until 1916 under then president and former governor of New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson, that the anthem began seeing use in a more official and ceremonial setting. It was formally recognized as the national anthem on March 3, 1931 ( editors).

What message can we discern from the story of Francis Scott Key’s poem? That it is our duty as Americans to remain strong and true to ourselves, even against insurmountable odds, whether it’s from the shells crashing down at Bunker Hill, drawing swords with our allies at the shores of Normandy, or bringing that last hope of justice at the battle Iwo Jima.

With this all being said, it does not take a prolific writer nor the courage of an astute veteran warrior to be a great American. Great Americans know that they have done their absolute best, no matter how big or small the deed, because “Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat, his lungs breathe their final breath and if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit will be immortalized.” said Jim Hellwig.

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