O 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?
It is somewhat ironic that in this bicentennial year of the start of the War of 1812, upon whose conclusion the U.S. finally could claim a safe and secure independence from Great Britain, we face a future that seems to creep ever closer to the socialist, petty tyranny that exists in Britain now. My neighborhood Independence Day parade kicks off this morning with the theme of “Let Freedom Ring” – I don’t think it is an exaggeration to wonder if the bells of freedom will ring just a bit softer today after last week’s Supreme Court ruling or even to wonder, as Francis Scott Key did 200 years ago after the Battle of Fort McHenry, if the star-spangled banner still waves over the land of the free and brave. Only time will tell.