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 Thanks to Dreamer2TV for the LeAnn Rimes video.

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President James Madison and his wife Dolly barely escaped to safety as the British set the President’s Manson, the Capitol and other public buildings ablaze as they captured Washington in 1814, even though they were out numbered two to one by the Americans.  The British had also captured a Dr. William Beanes who happened to be a friend of Mr. Frances Scott Key a Georgetown lawyer, husband and father of six boys and five girls.  Mr. Key and John S. Skinner, a US Government agent went to the British forces in Chesapeake to deal for the release of Dr. Beanes, they explained to the British Officers that the doctor had saved wounded British solders lives.  The British agreed to the release of Dr. Beanes but detained the three men on a ship until after their planned attack on Baltimore, America’s third largest city at that time.  Having planned a joint attack by land and water, the British General Ross and his troops landed in Maryland and soon ran into the American front forces, where British General Ross would meet his demise by the bullet of a sharp shooter.  The British forces having under estimated the strength of the Americans, pulled back to wait for the cover of darkness for their next attack on the evening of September 13, 1814.  Meanwhile the British navy had made its way to a position to attack Fort McHenry, that same morning September 13, at 6:30 am the British Admiral Cochrane’s ships, with Mr. Key aboard, began its attack.  For twenty-four hours the British rained down ten and thirteen inch bombshells and rockets that burst into flames and fell on Fort McHenry and her defenders, who were too far out of range to return fire.  When the British ships moved closer, the Americans gained their range and damaged the British ships so badly it forced them to pull back.  The Americans held the powerful British Navy off all night and at 7:30 on the morning of September 14, the British Admiral Cochrane called off the attack, and this was one of the main turning points in the War of 1812.

In June of 1813 Mary Pickersgill was commissioned by Major George Armistead to sew two flags for Fort McHenry.  The first flag measured 17 feet by 25 feet and since it was a stormy day on September 13, 1814 this was the flag that was flying over Fort McHenry during the raging battle between the British Fleet and Fort McHenry.  At dawn, the morning of September 14, 1814 as the British began to retreat, Major Armistead ordered his men to raise the larger flag that Mary Pickersgill and her daughter, two nieces, and an indentured African American girl had sewn.  This flag is “The Star Spangled Banner,” that inspired Mr. Frances Scott Key to write his poem that would later become our national anthem.  This Flag measured a huge thirty feet by forty-two feet wide, the modern garrison flags used today by the United States Army only measure 20 by 38 feet.  The flag is about the equivalent of a quarter the size of a basketball court.  The fifteen stars are each a massive two foot wide from point to point and each or the fifteen strips measure two feet wide.  The flag was made out of English wool and the stars are cotton.

Every time I hear this song it chokes me up because I love this country so much.  It is truly the best Country in the world.  I dedicate this post not only to the American forces fighting for our Freedom but for all men and women who acknowledge the danger and fight this fight.  May The Almighty God Bless you all and keep you safe.  The song we sing as our national anthem is usually sung with only the first part or verse.  Here is the whole poem by Frances Scott Key.

O 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?

On the shore, dimly seen thro’ the mist 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 on the stream
’Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n-rescued land
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 doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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calendar.jpgThis day didn’t exist, at least  in England in 1752.  The next 10 days did not exist either.  When England changed to the Gregorian calendar (named for Pope Gregory XIII) on September 2, 1752.   It was 11 days ahead of the Julian calendar (introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC), that was in use up until that time.  The people in a riot said the government stole 11 days of their lives.  You can look it up yourself if you would like to learn more about it.  This fact and because there isn’t much that happened on this day in history and just because I’m feeling lazy gives me a good excuse for not doing too many posts today.  Plus it’s labor day today, so enjoy yourselves.

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George H. W. Bush was a Naval Aviator flying a TBM Avenger torpedo bomber off the carrier USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) in the South Pacific.  On this day September 2, 1944 during World War II.  Bush and the squadron of Avengers he was with were conducting a bombing mission when they encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire.  Bush’s plane was hit but he managed to release his bombs before he and his crew members bailed out, sadly one of his crew members, Radioman 2nd Class John Delaney’s chute didn’t open and he perished, substitute gunner Lt. j.g. William White was also killed.  Four hours later a submarine crew rescued the future President.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery in action.  Bush won three Air Medals as well as a Presidential Unit Citation.  Despite his squadron suffering a 300 percent casualty rate among its pilots, Bush flew 58 combat missions during the war.

Elmendorf Air Force Base Anchorage Alaska gets their New F – 22 Raptors.

  Thanks to AmericanMDCCLXXVI for the video.

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camille-and-katrina.jpgJust the name alone brings back bad memories.  Growing up in South Louisiana the two Hurricanes that have always stuck out in memory, before Katrina, was Camille and Betsy.  Camille always being spoken of by my older relatives as being the worst Hurricane in memory. Today being the anniversary of Camille, which happened in 1969, I decided to take a look and see how the reality of that storm compared to what little I remember of it.  The first thing I notice is the tract of Katrina is almost identical to Camille as far as landfall.  The picture of the two side by side tells a different story.  Katrina was massive but was not as strong as far as wind speed and barometric pressure goes.  At landfall Katrina was a category 3 with wind speed of 175 mph, barometric pressure of 920 mb., Camille was a category 5 with wind speed of 195 mph and a barometric pressure of 909 mb.  Camille was the second of three category 5 hurricanes in 1969 and it did not only affect the Gulfcamille-1969-track.png coast, it caused flooding and deaths as far north as the Appalachian Mountains and Virginia.  Camille caused $1.42 billion in damage, the equivalent of $9.14 billion in the year 2005.  Camille killed at least 259 people.  While for a lot of people, not all, Camille is just a memory but Katrina is a scar.  The Weather ChannelHurricane Camille Image Gallery 

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If you want to check out some really awesome Aurora Photos here is a link to the December 2006 Gallery