In honor of tomorrow being Flag Day, and 2014 being the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key writing The Star Spangled Banner I thought I would share one more kids book with you. I know, I know. You are sick of kids books. But this is such a super one. One that makes me proud to be American. One that makes me a little teary eyed. And one Gilbert adores.
The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key, Illustrated by Peter Spier
An illustrated version of The Star Spangled Banner with three verses.
(Who knew there was more than one? Not me.)
My favorite verse--
Oh, thus be it ever when freeman shall stand.
Between their loved home and the wars desolation.
Blest with victr'y and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv'd us a nation.
Then conqueor 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.
This verse begins on a picture of a battle graveyard, all green with poppies growing. And I love that concept--free men, who could do anything, who don't have to go die, standing between the home and people they love and the horror of war.
Cody was saying the other day, that on the beaches of Normandy, there is a plaque "We gave our today, so you could have your tomorrow." Gives me chills.
It is so easy for me to forget how deeply personal fighting for freedom is to each and every soldier who goes out to fight. All those wives, all those girlfriends, (and now, husbands and boyfriends) all those kids who have lost a huge part of their life in the battle for freedom. I think today, war is so much more muddied. There isn't such a singleness to it anymore. We don't have a Hitler in Germany or a king in Britain to fight. There is an evil, terrorists, but they are spread all over, in so many different countries, that it is hard to fix your mind firmly on who the enemy is. And then the politics of war make it hard to be so singlemindedly proud of America. Should we be in Iraq? Should we be fighting here? Should we be supplying guns to the rebels over there? Should we.... should we...
And this book reminds me to be proud. Great men have believed America was worth fighting for, worth dying for. I can't, at this point, let that pride and thankfulness get buried under politics and apathy.
Rockets red glare
Mists of the deep