O! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d home, and the war’s desolation,
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land,
Praise the Power that hath made and preserv’d 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.
~ Fourth Stanza of “The Defence of Fort McHenry”
Francis Scott Key wrote “The Defence of Fort McHenry” during the War of 1812. The Baltimore Patriot published the poem on September 20, 1814. A congressional resolution declared these famous words – now known as “The Star-Spangled Banner” – to be our official national anthem on March 3, 1931.
This Memorial Day, we gratefully remember all those who have given their lives defending our country and our freedom.