Francis Scott Key

by Taylor from San Diego

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I tightened my grip on the cold, silver part of the microphone. Over a thousand eyes watched my every movement. Sweat dripped down my forehead, as I was anxious to begin our nation's most important song. Suddenly, the lyrics flowed out of me and I sang with a purpose instead of singing from memory. Remembering the battle at Fort McHenry, I imagined the man who watched the War and composed each of the words I sang. The tune echoed throughout the building and filled everyone's hearts with pride. Francis Scott Key is the "unrecognized" hero of America's National Anthem. We wouldn't be represented, if not for him, and celebrate our freedom in song before certain special events. Key was a well-respected young lawyer who was an aspiring poet in his small town of Carroll County, Maryland. ("Francis Scott Key") Many important events occurred on his embark to save his friend in hostage, Dr. Beanes, by the British. Such as when Scott Key awoke to the "dawn's early light," and discovered the flag still standing. Which displayed our triumph over the War of 1812. Enlightened at our victory, on his way home, he began to write the poem which would soon be set to music and become our "Star Spangled Banner". Heroes sacrifice their lives for others or overcome a difficult obstacle in their life to prove that they deserve their title of being a "hero."  My hero does not meet those requirements, yet he still holds the importance of what a hero means to me. Francis Scott Key is my role model because he made a national anthem to remind us to appreciate the militants who won our freedom, so that we are capable to do everything if we set our minds to it. Key is not the kind of hero who fought for America beneath the "Rocket's Red Glare," but he is the hero who created one of the most uplifting and inspirational legacy as a tribute to the conquest of the War of 1812 and continues to make a huge impact on our country today.

Scott Key's fascination with the events he witnessed during the War of 1812, sparked the idea of creating a poem. Which would later become one of the most recognizable and uplifting song of our time. During Key's journey to save his friend, he awoke to booming sounds of the war. He was taken over by fear and grief thinking that the Americans had lost the battle to the British fleets. To his surprise, he saw the red white and blue stripes, torn and withered, but still standing, which was enough proof that we had won. "At dawn he saw the American flag still flying defiantly over Fort McHenry, proving that the American forces had prevailed. In the early morning hours of September 14, 1814, Key wrote a poem conveying his patriotic feelings about the battle." ("Francis Scott Key"). Francis Scott Key felt so compassionate over the events he witnessed that he decided to write it down in order to honor the military heroes who were able to win against the British and keep our dignity flying high just like the standing evidence of our freedom: The American flag. He worked very hard in order to show that America and the military deserved a song. As we sing his song we remember the day that we lost the hearts of many, but can still pay respect to them in this nostalgic ballad. Key realized that America's victory of the War of 1812, was a sign to compose an accolade for the warriors who fought and deserved to be acknowledged by the world. "Key recalled his feelings on that historic morning: 'Through the clouds of war, the stars of that banner still shone...Then, in that hour of deliverance and joyful triumph, my heart spoke; and 'Does not such a country, and such defenders of their country, deserve a song?' was its question. With it came an inspiration not to be resisted; and even though it had been a hanging manner to make a song, I must have written it,'"  (The Star-Spangled Banner: The Making of an American Icon). Key wrote a poem that pays respect to the men and women of America who have fought, are still fighting, or have lost to the continuous battles of war our Country faced. The lyrics that Key composed showed how much gratitude and compassion he felt in his heart while seeing the War of 1812 go down in history but rekindled through his song. His ability to revive a nation from remembrance of the slavery and tragedy our nation is now free from. through a beautifully written poem, is what makes him an unrecognized hero to our nation today.

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Hoover along with Congress had the song declared the U.S. national anthem," ("Francis Scott Key"). The lyrics in the national anthem help provide a cultural significance and honor that that

"The Star-Spangled Banner" is not only a song that a young lawyer made to document an experience he witnessed. But through his inspiring message he produced, he left a huge impact on our nation, which allows us to celebrate the diversity we have throughout our land.  "The Star-Spangled Banner" is not just a poem. It has retained an iconic status through the ongoing evolution of the country and represents national symbols important to the United States and the rest of the world. " 'The Star-Spangled Banner' continues to be held up as a U.S. musical symbol though also facing criticism, with the song being labeled by some as violent and boasting unwieldy lyrics. Decades later, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared "The Star-Spangled Banner" should be played at official events. On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover along with Congress had the song declared the U.S. national anthem," ("Francis Scott Key"). The lyrics in the national anthem help provide a cultural significance and honor that unwieldy lyrics. Decades later, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared "The Star-Spangled Banner" should be played at official events. On March 3, 1931, President Herbert

shows how thankful we are for the people that put their lives before ours in the army, navy, and marine corp. As sung before important sporting events such as basketball, baseball, football, and hockey, "The Star Spangled Banner," is much more than just an anthem. When it is played, crowds waves their flags and cheer proving how much it means to them and showing their unconditional love for their country. This huge impact on our country would not have happened if not for Francis Scott Key. Americans take this song to show our pride and what it means to be an American. In crowds around the US, we join together as one and the song acts as the hands that connect the puzzle pieces of our diverse nation."In addition to earning a place on the popular stage, 'The Star-Spangled Banner' also became a standard for patriotic celebrations...Through shared experiences such as concert performances and holiday celebrations, Americans used 'The Star-Spangled Banner' to express their national identity and show their patriotism," (The Star-Spangled Banner: The Making of an American Icon 47). As a nation, we sing together and cry together to a tune that everyone knows, even babies, once we see a red, white, and blue flag. This song brings us together and makes us realize that in order to stay unified we must show our support for the country in which we live in. This beautiful, inspiring song holds a special place in our heart because by listening closely to each word sung, we  realize that we will never fall as long as that symbolic flag still remains waving in the sky of the War of 1812. Listen to the words, sing the song while you are in the 

stands, and take a moment to understand each and every word. Let the song fill your heart with joy and 

gratification and take a moment to recognize the significant victory and the survival of the Republic were worth celebrating. Scott Key is truly a hero because has written words that give strength to the army, navy, and marines

who have lost their strength because of the war. He reminds us that we are so blessed to live in the "land of the free," and the "home of the brave." ("The Star Spangled Banner")

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Key was motivated to show that we are incredibly lucky to be an American. He is a hero because he painted out the scene of what occurred in the War of 1812, in a song that has become our nation's legacy and continues to leave an impact on our lives and allow us to hold our head high knowing we are, and always will be, "free." This song brings us together and makes us realize that to stay unified we must show our support for the country in which we live in. Francis Scott Key thought he embarked on a journey just to save his friend. Little did he know, the events he saw would soon be sung across the U.S. as our own National Anthem. Key's lyrics have impacted us, leaving us inspired and proud every time we come together and sing his famous tune. Key's song inspires me to understand how our freedom helps to unite us and illuminate our differences which is indeed the entire theme of our nation. Francis Scott Key is an inspiration to me because when I'm singing the song, I now look from deep within the lyrics and feel the emotions he felt while seeing the U.S. flag still standing. Francis Scott Key's poem, The U.S. National Anthem, has inspired me to do a lot of huge things in my life. About a year ago my dad volunteered me to sing, "The Star Spangled Banner", in front of a couple thousand people at one of my volleyball tournaments. I had never sung the anthem in front of anyone before. But, getting the opportunity to prove how grateful I am to be free and apart of this nation, I had to take it. I will never stop singing the National Anthem, neither will I stop paying gratitude to our troops and show how thankful I am to have them. We stand up and pay our gratitude to the heroes who suffer in the war fields for the safety and freedom of us. Because of Scott Key, the song allows us to smile and hold true to our country. We are proud to be a part of America. As I sing the last line of the poem, "Home of the brave," I can see the red, white, and blue colors of the flag and forever take pride in my nation, knowing the real story and realizing how lucky I am to be represented by this song.

Works Consulted

"Francis Scott Key." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 04 May 2015.     

"Francis Scott Key." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 1 May 2015.

"Francis Scott Key." Francis Scott Key. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2015.

 Key, Francis Scott. "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Maryland State Art Collection: Paintings, Francis Scott Key. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015. 

"NHL Teams Pay Tribute to Military on Veterans Day in America, Remembrance Day in Canada." N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.

Taylor, Lonn, Kathleen M. Kendrick, and Jeffrey L. Brodie. The Star-Spangled Banner: The Making of American Icon. New York: Smithsonian Books, 2008. Print.

"Tay Tay Sings National Anthem at Volleyball Festival 2014." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.


Page created on 5/21/2015 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/21/2015 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

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