?I was astonished to find out that only about 40% of Americans can recite the actual words of our national anthem, and even less Americans know the story and meaning behind the words (A Star Spangled Story: Battle for America (Full Episode), 2015). Every American should know who Francis Scott Key is as well the meaning behind the words of our national anthem.
Names such as Benjamin Franklin are taught in our schools and are very well known. So, why is it this story is not taught to young Americans attending our public schools? American public schools should be teaching young Americans why they should be proud of the country they live in. Patriotism is not something we are born with. Patriotism is taught to us and we learn it. Without learning about our countries history, patriotism cannot be fully achieved. Having attended American public schools my entire life, I had never been taught about the story and meaning behind our national anthem.
The story behind our national anthem teaches us what American patriotism is all about.We are learned about men like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison, but why not Francis Scott Key? When I learned the story behind the words of the Star-Spangled Banner and Key’s observation at Fort McHenry in 1814, it deeply touched my heart. Giving me a much deeper love, appreciation for not only the American flag but also for the great nation we call home. The story behind our national anthem should be taught in all of America’s public schools. The bombardment of Fort McHenry, and the name Francis Scott Key should be as well-known or even better known than the names and stories of other historically famous people we all learn about in school. Recently, there has been a lot of debate about changing our national anthem.
People argue that Francis Scott Key was racist, and even the song Star-Spangled Banner itself is racist. However, one could argue that many, if not most, of our nation’s founding fathers were in fact slave owners. At that time all over the world and in many countries people owned slaves, not just Americans. Slavery was not moral or right, we need to remember that we have come a long way since almost 250 years ago, when it was a very different day and age. President Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.
It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free,” (Regan, 1989). President Reagan was right. Without teaching our young Americans what patriotism is, Americas sense of patriotism will continue to slowly die.