Monday, July 4, 2011

The Bombs Bursting in Air

Tonight Robyn and I sat on our porch for a while and looked out at our view.  Our house sits on a hill and gives us an excellent view of Utah valley all the way out to the lake and the mountains beyond.  Tonight was particularly interesting because of the newly legalized fireworks that shoot into the air.  It was actually quite beautiful to look out and see the colorful explosions as far as the eye could see.

As I looked out, and also as I listened to the sounds of the fireworks exploding, it sounded somewhat like a war zone.  I became lost in thought for a moment as these "bombs bursting in air" brought some lyrics from our national anthem to my mind.
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
I just imagined what it must have been like for Francis Scott Key as he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry.  I picture him hunkered down trying to stay safe but all the while looking up amid the flashing bursts of light to see if the flag still flies.  I can imagine his state of mind as he wonders to himself:
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
I started to run some of the rest of the lyrics through my mind.  The final verse is particularly powerful in my opinion.
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand, Between their loved home and the war's desolation! 
I love that imagery.  I've never had to stand and protect my home from the destruction of war and I hope I never have to.  But I'm grateful for those who have done that and for the freedom they have sacrificed so much to preserve.
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" 
I believe that God has protected this nation in order to preserve freedom in this world.  The more I study history the more miracles I find that helped us get by when our freedom was dangling from thin threads.  I'm grateful to God in Heaven for the blessing of freedom that I enjoy today.  I love that today we can celebrate the Declaration of Independence.  We can honor our God because "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."

Today I am filled with gratitude and love for my country.  I am awestruck at the beautiful "bombs bursting in air" that can remind us of days when those bombs were not amazing fireworks, but enemies who sought to destroy our freedom.  I'm grateful that against all odds, freedom has continued to flourish for over two centuries.  I hope we can all do our part to continue to preserve that freedom for our children and their children.
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


  1. Did you know that our anthem's tune is an old popular British drinking song?

    Oh, and great post; I totally agree. :)

  2. I'm completely serious when I say that this post changed my life. As you must know, I'm not the biggest history/politics guru. But this post opened my eyes to really important things that I should care more about, so thank you. :)

    Hope you both had a happy 4th!

  3. I do love a good quality free country. I especially love the last verse of the Star Spangled Banner. It is my favorite. Love it. Thanks Jeff.

  4. I've had some of those very thoughts in the past and wondered what it must have been like to be Francis Scott Key and keep looking out at the country you love and wondering if they are going to make it through the night. Then as the morning approaches to rejoice in the fact that they did survive and will continue to fight for all that you hold dear. What a great nation we live in!!

  5. I started crying in church on Sunday as we sang the Star Spangled Banner. Thank you for reminding me why.

  6. It was nice to sit and watch the colors in the sky with you. Thanks for sharing it with me.

  7. That is awesomness! Reminds me of what John Adams wrote to Abigail:

    I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

    You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. -- I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. -- Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

  8. Love my America and love fireworks too!

  9. Thank you for teaching me some new stuff about the Star Spangled Banner. Very cool.


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