Oh Say Can You See - A Lesson In Gratitude At Fort McHenry, MD

We had the honor of visiting Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland on Veterans Day 2021. Due to our recent boating accident, we are homeless until repairs can be finalized in spring 2022. Amongst my frantic apartment searches, Jeff piped up with, "Hey, what if we pet sit like you used to do, pre-pandemic?" Brilliant idea! So, here we are on our 2nd sit with an elderly kitty named Mele. Jeff is quickly learning the ropes...err...leashes of pet sitting.

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historical Shrine

Original Music Score From 1814

Touring Fort McHenry on Veterans day was emotional and inspiring. Walking the ramparts, standing on the shoreline, you gain a tangible understanding of Francis Scott Key peering through the "dawns early light"...aka, fog, to see which flag was flying over the fort.         USA flag = Okey, Dokey! British flag = run for the hills! Upon seeing the stars and stripes through the mist, he felt compelled to pen, what would become our beloved national anthem.

Star-Spangled Banner History...Worth The Read

The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key (1814)

Oh, 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, thro' the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof, thro' 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? 

Raising The Flag At Fort McHenry

So, here's my thoughts and a challenge for all 'ya all today.

We just celebrated Veteran's Day, and this week brings Thanksgiving Day. Both holidays present a time for reflection and gratitude.

If you yawned when scanning the above, stop and read the lyrics. Go on...do it right now. Bath in a fresh sense of pride for our incredible country that provides us with so much diversity...yes, even Hipsters in Portland.🤣  

Face it, we've forgotten most of what we learned in Junior High Civics class, so I want to challenge you to blow out some mental cobwebs and learn more about our nations history. Go to the historical sites, pause for remembrance. Most of all, don't just observe Veteran's and Turkey Day one 

time a year. In fact, skip the shopping frenzies, the mattress blow out sales or early Black Friday deals. You probably have too much crap in your home already. Instead, be an American. Practice the spirit of these 2 days...every day. Thank a Veteran, read history, instill in our up and coming generation (God help us🙄) a sense of sacred pride, patriotism, and a willingness to stand and defend our freedoms. I challenge you to say a prayer of gratitude and our Pledge of Allegiance at your Thanksgiving table. That'll blow grandad  away. If something's got your panties in a twist, set it aside and just-be-a-proud-American. 

Our country is experiencing sweeping social changes. Some good, some, not so good. Reminding ourselves of our historical heritage keeps conversations alive. Practicing patriotism ensures we live in the moment. Freely expressing gratitude keeps our hearts and minds open to a healthy future for this land of the free and the home of the brave. And hey, if it's been awhile since you've proclaimed your Pledge of Allegiance (video), here is a quick sample from Jeff and I. Personally, I like his addition at the end. 

We wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving. God bless the USA.

Please share in the comments something you're grateful for with your country. 

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