Land of the free and the home of the brave?
When Francis Scott Key penned those words, he ended the sentence with a question-mark, not a period or an exclamation! I love this amazing country, which is now, some 242 years into a grand experiment of a nation, that is of, for and by the people. It may have been unique in all the history of the Earth; up until that time on a hot summer’s day in the City of brotherly love. These framers of the Declaration of Independence, risked life, limb and property to stand as one against tyranny. They literally pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor!
We live in a day when many of us do not have to go that far to live in a country where we have the claim to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We can create that on our own, each and every day. However there are some of us that this is not the case. We have people in our country who are hated because of the color of their skin, We have others who are looked down upon, because of their choice to love whom they choose. We have folks who believe in God and some who do not and others whose God is something that might be judged
There is a new Nike company sports equipment ad that focuses not on what product to buy but on the idea that any person who chooses to express their unalienable right, can do so. In this case, a professional football player decided to kneel when the National Anthem was played, instead of standing. He was objecting to the state of affairs of the people of his race who were being arrested, tortured and murdered without cause because of the hate of the perpetrators. He has the right to do that! He was given that right, over two hundred years ago.
When Key wrote those lyrics on the horrific night on September 13, 1814 when the British were destroying Fort McHenry in Baltimore Maryland. Perhaps he ended it with a question mark because he was against the war when it began in 1812? It may be, that he thought there would not be a country anymore?
Freedom is precious. It is not given by any government. It is the nature of life! It is sometimes taken away by others by force or other measures. However, it can never be taken from our hearts. The reason our country, with all of its faults is great, is because of it’s heart. One reason we celebrate bravery is because it comes from our heart. Our mind would not commit to action, if it were not for our heart! I am encouraging us all to find the heart and the courage to stand up for the freedom for everyone and every thing. Then perhaps our country and perhaps the Earth will be the world of the free and the home of the brave! And it will not be a question any more. It will be an exclamation! From my free and brave heart to yours, Thomas