Happy 247th birthday, America.
On Independence Day, Americans ought to feel proud of their country. Despite the resurgence of anti-American and revisionist history, Americans want to believe that the country is worth fighting for and believing in.
America has won two world wars and has a long history of helping oppressed peoples across the globe. Though America has made mistakes and has imperfections, it is still worth preserving because of the enshrined freedoms and liberties contained in the U.S. Constitution.
This Independence Day, we want to recount the words of our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Here are the first and fourth verses:
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 through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s 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?
O thus be it ever when freemen 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 power 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.
The anthem references the valiant stand by Americans at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, which bombardment was seen by Francis Scott Key as he was on a British ship in the city’s harbor. The flag which flew at the fort resides in the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
Their courage in the face of the most powerful empire resonates with us today.
As AIA Chairman Don Irvine says, “Remember we live in the best country in the entire world, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
Here’s to another 247 years and beyond, America.