A National Anthem provides one of the few opportunities for the people of that nation to come together, united as one. In United States of America, the “Star Spangled Banner” is traditionally played before every official event. This song grants a moment to pause and reflect on what it means to be an American, living in a free nation. It is a symbol of hope, respect, and appreciation.
The National Anthem was originally written as the poem, Defense of Fort M’Henry in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. Key was a lawyer who traveled to Fort McHenry to negotiate the release of a prisoner from British naval forces. Upon his arrival, the British forces quickly bombarded the Maryland fort. During all of this chaos and destruction, Key was not allowed to return to land. After witnessing continual bombing by British forces, somehow the fort still remained standing. Key noticed that above the smoldering wreckage, the American Flag still proudly flew. It served as a reminder of the Americans were fighting for: freedom.
The foundation of our nation was not a peaceful journey. Many hard fought battles were endured. Beloved lives were lost. But, their efforts did not go to waste and in the end they prevailed. Freedom and independence were eventually achieved from monarchy rule.
Therefore, I believe this song stands as a tribute to our nation’s great history and desire to maintain our freedoms. Through all the perilous fighting, our flag proudly flew high as a symbol of hope and bravery for our soldiers to continue fighting. In my opinion, that is the main purpose of the National Anthem. Listening to the words of the National Anthem inspires patriotism and nationalism into the hearts of citizens. Today, our battles are not over. Our country remains deeply flawed in many ways. But, change takes time. Hopefully, our great nation will rise to the challenges it faces and find the courage to conquer adversity as our founding fathers once did.