Star Spangled Bangle
Francis Scott Key, ghost of Independent Day’s Past, would he craw back in his grave after witnessing the condition of the State of the Union; the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave? The sparkle of the spangle has lost its glitter and the banner has morphed into a rigid ornament bangle anklet tied to a tether of our day to day mundane existence of many- trying to eke out the American Dream, that is often referred to as unalienable Rights “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”; and justice for all ! How has that worked out for us?
Presidents’ over the past 240 years gave cute, warm, and fussy terms for the American Dream: “thousand points of light” or how about this catchy crowd stopper “shinning city on the hill”; you guess it – Daddy Bush, 41, and the “great communicator” himself – Ronny Reagan!
There were a couple of Commander In Chief’s actually believed that our government of men derived their just powers in order to secure these Rights granted by the consent of the governed- People of the United States!
The “New Deal” driven by the leadership of Franklin Roosevelt – instrumental in developing domestic programs for the People and by the people of government “in his charge” and slowly removed the strife of the “Great Depression” of the 30’s instituting Social Security (SSI) an insurance policy for Seniors, Federal Public Works Administration Program PWA, building infrastructure- parks, highways, roads, and buildings.
The “Great Society” mandated by Lyndon Johnson, minority’s great white hope finally releasing African-American’s from the scourge of the 50tys, 60tys and Bull Conner, killer German Sheppard’s, and fire hose humiliation suppression of the “deep South”.
Pres. Johnson passed the 1964-65 Civil and Voting Rights Acts, and followed by the Fair Housing Act in 1968. Also, He signed into law Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and Head Start- warm breakfast and lunch for millions of in poverty stricken families.
In 1960, several years prior to the monumental signing of Civil Rights Acts, 34 students defiantly took a stand by refusing to leave an all-white segregated dining facility (lunch counter) in downtown Richmond, Virginia, and were arrested for trespassing. The Richmond 34 conviction was overturned in 1963 by the Supreme Court – Who knew! The Supremes’ must have checked the pulse of the Country and obviously wanted to get on the right side of history; or the progressive Left?
Francis Key’s ghost may look at the evolution of the great American experiment with all of its flaws (do nothing Congress, still suppression of the vote; 36 states wrote and passed Jim Crow-type legislation and signed into law), and Media hype and foibles fed by, The Donald, to his “ poorly educated base”. The state of affair of our political system would be too goulash for even ghost of Scott Key!
So what would the translucent Key’s last stanza lyrics encapsulate while watching the burst of colorful 4th of July fireworks cascade the spirit of Hope across the Baltimore Harbor sky or mourning the losses of the veterans of war and active combat troops in the middle-east? Would his words and melody be tempered trepidation of the future or still maintain a phonetic lilt of combined harmony and lyrics, and patriotic theme?
I want to believe there are better days ahead of us and not just a spangled ornament symbol, the Flag, we base our American Dream on, don’t you?
Today, we mourn the loss; celebrate our active duty, and veterans that put their lives on the line for the stars and stripes. Will Francis Scott Key’s last stanza (“Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto- “In God is our trust” And the star – spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”) be our mantra for generations to come?
Or is there still a chance, as Americans, too write a new stanza in the praise of our Nation’s symbol of Stars and Stripes: Where our nation revers hope and trust in our leadership role too bring forth the goodness our country stands for to keep truth a-waving; for the land of the free and the home of the brave?