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Tribute to Veterans

Updated on July 5, 2014

Tribute to US Veterans - "Pray that None Among Us Forget"

On November 11th, every American needs to remember the sacrifices our veterans have made and continue to make. From poems to music to the history of the anthem of praise written by Francis Scott Keys to a time line history of US wars, take a moment to reverently remember our veterans with both song and verse and remember that "Freedom is never free."

As James McEachin so eloquently stated in Voices: This Old Soldier "I will pray to my God that we unite as one and that over and over and over and over and over again we give thanks to the American veteran, the defenders of freedom. And holding dear the memory of the dead and the unaccounted for, I shall further pray that none among us forget …"

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Tribute Video - When the World Went Mad - WWI

Tribute Video to Our Vietnam Vets

Tribute Video - Been to Hell and Back - John Wood

Tribute to World War II Veterans - Were You There

Tribute Poem & Videos

Unselfishly, you left your fathers and your mothers,
You left behind your sisters and your brothers.
Leaving your beloved children and wives,
You put on hold, your dreams your lives.

On foreign soil, you found yourself planted
To fight for those whose freedom you granted.
Without your sacrifice, their cause would be lost
But you carried onward, no matter the cost.

Many horrors you had endured and seen.
Many faces had haunted your dreams.
You cheered as your enemies littered the ground;
You cried as your brothers fell all around.

When it was over, you all came back home,
Some were left with memories to face all alone;
Some found themselves in the company of friends
As their crosses cast shadows across the land.

Those who survived were forever scarred
Emotionally, physically, permanently marred.
Those who did not now sleep eternally
Neath the ground they had given their lives to keep free.

With a hand upon my heart, I feel
The pride and respect; my reverence is revealed
In the tears that now stream down my upturned face
As our flag waves above you, in her glory and grace.

Freedom was the gift that you unselfishly gave
Pain and death was the price that you ultimately paid.
Every day, I give my utmost admiration
To those who had fought to defend our nation.

Please remember those who “didn’t run” and fought for our
country, proudly….So that you and I can enjoy the
Freedom, …we have today…

Reprinted from

Tribute - Freedome is Never Free

Timeline of United States Wars

To keep all of this in perspective, I have added a timeline that summarizes of some of the major wars for the United States history:

1776 Declaration of Independence

American Revolution 1775-1783                        United States Colonies verses Great Britain

War of 1812 1812-1815                                     United States verses Great Britain

Mexican American War 1846-1848                     United States verses Mexico

Spanish American War 1898                              United States verses Spain

World War I 1914-1918

World War II 1939-1945

Korean War 1950-1953

Vietnam War 1960-1975

Invasion of Afghanistan 2001

Invasion of Iraq 2003

Fort McHenry  Birthplace of Star Spangled Banner - Baltimore           -  Photo courtesy of
Fort McHenry Birthplace of Star Spangled Banner - Baltimore - Photo courtesy of

Star Spangled Banner History

The Star Spangled Banner, the United State's National Anthem, was originally entitled Defense of Fort McHenry.

The United States of America national anthem was adopted on 1931 but was originally written on the back of an envelope just after a bloody battle with the British in 1814 during the War of 1812.

It was a 25 hour battle that engulfed our troops in pouring rain and darkness. When the fighting ceased, the light of dawn emerged, Francis Scott Key was uncertain who won. But peering through the dawn, he could see with great joy, it was the American flag that was still flying.

The poem was set to music and adopted as the United State's National Anthem and was formally adopted in 1931. The song had a signed executive order back in 1916, had been used by the Navy since 1889, however, it was not official until Congress acted upon the legislation.

"Anthem" is a song or praise or respect. It is sung in appreciation for both our freedoms and for appreciation of our veterans and service men and women who have served the American citizens valiantly.

Faith Hill Sings the United States National Anthem

Francis Scott Key's 1814 Lyrics to US National Anthem

Oh, 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?

Lyrics: Francis Scott Key, 1814 Adopted: 1931

2 More Verses - Star Spangled Banner

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam
Of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner - O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Over there on the shore, hardly seen through the misty haze from the water,
Where this ship of the arrogant enemy waits in dreadful silence,
What is it that the breezes blowing over the towering cliff,
Are partly concealing and partly disclosing?
Look now! It's catching the gleam
of the first rays of sunshine!
And the light is reflecting the full glory of it's colors!
It's the Star Spangled Banner! - yes long may it wave,
Over the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

1812 War With Great Britain

The 1812 war was devastating to our young and emerging new country called the United States. During the battles with Britain, the United States lost the capital building,the treasury building and the president's mansion in Washington. The Unite States had British dominance in the Great Lakes and also on the east coast. One of the bloodiest battles was in Baltimore at Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) was viewing the bombarding of the American forces.

Additionally, at this time in American history, relations with the Native American Indians were strained due to the Indian's unwillingness to sign commercial agreements favorable to this new emerging nation.

Francis Scott Key was at the Port of Baltimore on September 13 - 14, 1814, which was protected by Fort McHenry on the south side. The situation was very bleak. The casualties in infrastructure and men were mounting. The rain was pouring, darkness had ensued and the wearisome battle was over 25 hours long.

Upon the emerging dawn, the gun smoke dissipating and the rain subsiding, the poem Keys scribbled was about the joy in seeing the flag of freedom still flying. The emotions attached to this song are important. It is a song about struggle and triumph even in the midst of what appeared to be obstacles from every side.

Imagine Francis Scott Key's burst of emotion to see the struggle end triumphantly?! That is why this anthem is so beloved.

National Anthem Protocol

Proper protocol for the National Anthem is to stand, face the flag, remove your hats (only for gentlemen), and place your right hand over your heart. Singing is encouraged but is optional.

You should salute IF you are or were a member of the armed forces.

New Law - Veterans & Active-Duty Members May Salute the Flag During National Anthem

Only IF you are a veteran or active-duty member of the armed forces. This new federal law took effect October 14th, 2008, where military not in uniform can now render the military-style hand salute during this song and tribute to our country and to our veterans.

“The military salute is a unique gesture of respect that marks those who have served in our nation’s armed forces,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. “This provision allows the application of that honor in all events involving our nation’s flag.”

The new provision improves upon a little known change in federal law last year that authorized veterans to render the military-style hand salute during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag, but it did not address salutes during the national anthem.

The change in the federal law also applied to members of the armed forces while not in uniform.

Rember Our Veterans & Never Forget....

...I shall further pray that none among us forget …"  James McEachin

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