who is the narrator of this great piece of work?
Don't know who the narrator is. I did find it also playing on Godtube.com .http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=2c44a3936263859171e5&page=11&viewtype=&category=mr
For as lovely and inspiring as this may be, it is riddled with inaccuracies and some flat-out whoppers. For the record, the bombardment of Fort McHenry was during the War of 1812, and largely left the fort unharmed (4 men died of 1,000 there). The story of the seige of Baltimore is amazing in it's own right, and needs no embellishment to make it inspiring. The narrator does all of us a disservice by turning from recorded facts to create an interesting but false mythology.
Just because the narrator got one fact wrong does not make the entire story false. The rest of the story is correct as it was recorded by many soldiers and sailors who were present in their diaries, letters, etc. Even the British Admiral recorded the bombardment and their surprise the next morning when they saw how slight the damage was. I therefore don't believe that you are correct in calling the story "false mythology."
Well, there are a lot more errors than one. In fact, the narrator seems to have made up a lot of it. There was no cargo-hold full of prisoners. In fact, Key and a military negotiator were sent to negotiate the release of one man, a Dr. Beane, and after that was accomplished, though they were prevented from returning to Baltimore, they were transferred from Admiral Cochran's ship to the American ship that had transported them. They spent the night watching the battle from the deck that ship. There were also not hundreds of British ships. The commander of Fr. McHenry indicates in his report to the Secretary of War that there were about 30 British ships, of which about 16 participated in the bombardment. The rest carried troups, etc. There was also no flag pole being held up by people or bodies, although it is true that the flag (not the flag pole)took a few direct hits. One of the militiamen, Isaac Monroe, wrote in his diary, "“At dawn on the 14th our morning gun was fired, the flag hoisted, [and] Yankee Doodle played. . . . ” There was a storm that night and the large "star spangled banner" that had been sewn so the British could see it from a distance had probably been taken down during much of the night. The commander's report says that, although the bombardment was horrific, consisting of between 1,500-1,800 shells being fired, only 4 men were killed and 24 injured and there is no mention of people holding up the flag pole. He gives great credit to the bravery of every one of his men and those at Ft. Covington and a gun battery near there, for repelling the British attack. The defense of Baltimore was a turning point in the war. Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that eventually became our National Anthem in a hotel room the day after the battle. It became our National Anthem in 1931. Here is a good resource for the facts about our national anthem and its author:http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/hh/5/hh5toc.htm
I am glad to see the corrections from some well educated visitors. AS usual, motivational speakers often take liberties with history in order to drive home a point with emotion. The story - if you take the time to read it - from any number of good sources - is pretty amazing as it is. In a world of 15 second (if that) attention spans and few people who read even a newspaper- scholarly narrations of historical events become endangered species. I wonder how 9-11 will be evoked in 200 years?
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