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March 3rd is National Anthem Day

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If you're looking for something to do today then stare at a flag for a little bit because it's National Anthem Day!  Feel like doing a little singing?  Let's get right into celebrating National Anthem Day!

WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?  

Today is a holiday because The Star-Spangled Banner became the United States' national anthem on this day in 1931.  The song was written by Francis Scott Key after he saw the British Royal Navy attacking Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. He titled the poem he wrote "Defence of Fort McHenry", which was written in 1814. Seems like a fitting name for the poem, right?

Then the lyrics were put to the tune of a British drinking song called "The Anacreontic Song" before it was renamed The Star-Spangled Banner. Seems a little funny to have a national anthem sung to the tune of a drinking song, doesn't it? But hey, we'll go with it!  It actually has four parts to the song, but we more commonly only sing the first 'stanza' as we gaze at the United States flag. In the fourth section of the song you'll find where our national motto came from (In God We Trust) as it states "And this be our motto: In God is our Trust." This became the US national motto in 1956.  The Navy began officially using The Star-Spangled Banner in 1889 and President Herbert Hoover signed it in as the national anthem on March 3rd, 1931. And that's how it all began!

HOW TO CELEBRATE 

So how can you celebrate today?  Well, why not find a flag and sing The Star-Spangled Banner as you stare at it? Go all out and sing all four verses if you know them. And if you don't, today would be a good day to learn them!  You could have a bit of fun with it and go around with a group of friends, walking the streets of your town. And anytime you see a flag, stop and start singing the national anthem. I'm sure you'll get a lot of weird looks but you never know who will join in and start singing with you!

And why not buy your own flag today? Hang it outside your house and give people a reason to stop and reflect on what that flag represents. Who knows, maybe they'll start singing at it ;).  You could also take some time today to educate yourself on the War of 1812 to see what was really going on at that time. What would cause someone to write something like that? What did it mean to them and other people who read it? Who was Francis Scott Key and what was he doing when he became inspired to write the words to this song? To truly understand the meaning of this song you'll have to do a little more than just recite it before sports games. Do a little research and build that brain of yours!  I hope you have a great, star-spangled day today and don't be afraid to sing a little bit!





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