by Bill C., Chaplain
Author of Liberty, Francis Scott Key was a respected young attorney, a graduate of St. John’s College in Annapolis . He had seriously considered the Episcopal priesthood before deciding to take up law. Early in the 1800’s he moved his law practice to Washington, D.C., where he was successful. In the War of 1812, primarily a sea battle for control of harbors and commerce, we were fighting to break out of a commercial blockade. Late in the summer of 1814 the British sacked Washington, D.C. Withdrawing, they took with them a patriot prisoner, William Beanes. Francis Scott Key and John S. Skinner, friends of Beanes, went to President James Madison and pleaded to be allowed to negotiate for the release of their friend. Madison agreed, and Skinner and Key went to Baltimore . They were allowed on the frigate “Surprise,” a British prisoner exchange ship, and there they negotiated. Key and Skinner did gain the release of their friend. But the three were detained on the frigate overnight because the British feared they would warn the patriots about an intended attack of Fort McHenry. Nervously, the three men paced the deck of the British frigate through the long night. Flying over Fort McHenry before the sun went down had been the American flag. At intervals through the night, seen by the “the rocket’s red glare” and “the bombs bursting in air,” their flag was still there, and they wavered between despair and hope. With dawn, a mist rose off the water, and they were not able to see the battlements of Fort McHenry. Then the mist broke and they could see the flag flying still! Inspired, Francis Key took an unfinished letter from his pocket and wrote, in a few minutes, almost all the line of the poem which is now our national anthem. When the three men returned to Baltimore, Key finished and polished his poem and set to the tune of a British drinking song, “To Anacreon in Heaven,” written by John Stafford Smith in England and popular in the colonies. The poem, printed on hand-bills, was distributed on the streets of Baltimore. A few days later, an actor, Ferdinand Durang, sang “The Star Spangled Banner” for the first time in public performance, in a Baltimore tavern. Immediately it became popular. Three months later it was played during the Battle of New Orleans. The Army and Navy picked it up, and eventually it was officially named the national anthem by Act of Congress on March 3, 1931. A whole nation still sings, and is inspired by “O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light?” - Don H. Alexander
Be Happy, Chaplain Bill C.
“Membership KWVA:” If you need a new membership card, send either a letter to the Membership Office, or email to email@example.com. Mailing address: Korean War Veterans Assn., PO Box 22857, Alexandria, VA 22304-9285.
A request from Carl B.:
All members who can recall the names of KIA/MIA from the Korean War please send the names to: Carl A. Bender, 500 Stone River Road, Belleville, Il 62221, email http://us.f654.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=BenderCE@aol.com, or call him at (618) 235-6550.
He is trying to help high schools establish a monument with the names of former graduates. He has been contacting Veteran Offices for State of Illinois and has been unable to find out the hometown of the KIA/MIA. From Illinois there were 22,000 plus KIA/MIA from WW II, 1748 from the Korean war, 2972 from Vietnam War, but he has no records from skirmishes since then. There is a plaque in the Belleville Public Library that lists the names of 42 men from Belleville KIA from WW I. The listing should include all members from all Service Branches.
So, if anyone can help with Carl’s project, please contact him directly in one of the ways listed above.
A Few Words from your PR Person:
On behalf of our chapter a giant vote of thanks is extended to Bob I. for his efforts in keeping the dues records up to date. His ability to do this job was a big help as to who has paid up and who was not. His replacement is Carl B..
While thanks are being passed out we are grateful to Commander Tom for the delicious chicken at our pot luck dinner at the June meeting. Also, thanks to all who furnished side dishes for the dinner. A good time was had by all.
See you at the July meeting Bill J..
Prayer for the United States
God please watch over America. Keep the glory in the stars. The boldness in the stripes. Please guard this land of ours. God watch over America. Keep us safe the day and night. With freedoms proudly displayed. Like and eagle in his flight. God please watch over America. And with our liberties impart. A new patriotic spirit. In each and every loyal heart.
--Chaplain Bill C.
THE JOKE OF THE MONTH
When church secretary Ms. Daisy answered the ringing phone, a man’s voice asked, “Can I speak to the head hog at the trough?” The secretary thought she heard what he said, but asked, “I’m sorry, who?” The caller repeated, “Can I speak to the head hog at the trough?’ Daisy thought a moment and then answered, “If you mean the preacher, then you may refer to him as ‘Pastor or ‘Brother,’ but I’d prefer you not refer to him as the “head hog at the trough!” To this, the man replied, “Well, I was wanting to give one hundred thousand to the building fund.” Quick as a wink, Daisy responded, “Hang on, sir, I believe I just heard his ‘oink.’
Answer to the word quiz: antidisestablishmentarianism.