Every time I hear the United States National Anthem, there is a deeper meaning after visiting the place it was written – Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland. One of the first things you can see upon nearing the fort is the tall flagpole carrying a huge American flag which author Francis Scott Keys was looking for during the bombing of the fort by British soldiers.
Once inside the fort, you can see where the canons that defended this fort during the attack were placed. This brings the attack to life imagining soldiers maneuvering cannons and loading them to fire back at British ships in Chesapeake Bay outside of the fort while taking cover as these ships fired back.
Walking along the top of the fort walls, Chesapeake Bay is clearly visible shining in the bright blue, sunlit sky. After seeing the fort and many of its canons you begin to visualize British ships in the water firing almost causing you to quickly duck back behind the brick walls for protections.
It’s very humbling to think of this large icon of America, its flag, flying in the wind while soldiers engaged in heavy battle firing at each other through a smoke filled sky created from canon fire. To imagine what this must have looked like to Francis Scott Keys and the impact it had on him during these days. His surprise, joy, and pride to see Fort McHenry and the United States flag continuing to exist in all their glory once the battle ceased. On this Independence Day I have further respect for those who have given much to give us our freedom and continue to defend it yet today!