9-13 before 9-11

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Well-known member
Jan 31, 2004
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South La
9-13 came before 9-11

The tragic events of September eleventh 2001 are etched in to the minds of all of us who were alive to experience that day. This event and the rebirth of patriotism that followed is like no other in recent history. The fact that America was attacked on our own soil is something most of us never even dreamed of happening to our country.

This brings to mind another day in September. Not 9-11 but 9-13. This was also an attack on American interests on our own soil. The year was not 2001 or even 1901 but 1814. September thirteenth 1814 was the day that Fort McHenry was attacked by British forces.

It was the aftermath of that attack that prompted a 35-year-old lawyer and poet to put pen to paper and write a poem. This poem was put to music and in 1931 the Congress of our country made it the National Anthem. The poem is "The Star Spangled Banner," the author Francis Scott Key. The music that the poem was set to is actually English. "To Anacreon in Heaven."

A great deal of time has passed between 9-13 and 9-11. Not much time has passed since 9-11. Too many Americans have forgotten the horror of that day. The modern day attack on our country was a wake-up call for all of us. There was a blip of patriotism on our radar screen. We all had flags on our vehicles. Most of them are gone now.

We are still under attack. Brave men are fighting for us. We have a wonderful president that has shown us superior leadership during this time. Many Americans have died and are still dying for our cause.

We need to bring ourselves back to the level of patriotism of 9-11 and that of men like Francis Scott Key on 9-13. We need the flags, the support for men like George W. Bush, and an American spirit that we will survive.

This is when we know that Freedom is not Free. It costs dollars and even more it costs lives. It cost us thousands of lives on 9-11. Yes, we have lost hundreds in the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. More will be lost. This is what happens during military operations. This does not mean we stop. We must continue and win.

We cannot let the liberal forces in this country back us down and not take this battle to fruition. Thank God for the leadership of George W. Bush and his willingness to take charge and make preemptive strikes for the good of our nation. We cannot sit back and wait for another 9-11. We do not need more flag draped coffins of police, firefighters, EMT's and paramedics that are killed during a 9-11 type attack. And we for sure do not need thousands of more dead Americans in a big building that will never even be able to be placed in a coffin.

Listen to the music, read the words… we need the support and patriotism to continue and win this battle.

Mike Meehan, ETCM(SS) USNR-R (Ret.)
March 13, 2004

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' 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?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-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."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Francis Scott Key
September 14, 1814