Our day started like most others with a trip to the pool for an early morning workout. Things quickly changed, however, when our instructor ( a former marine) arrived and addressed us from pool side.
Pam discussed the history behind "The Star Spangled Banner" and explained that while Francis Scott Key was being held prisoner aboard a British ship he learned that the American flag at Fort Sumpter became the focal point of attack. When the symbolic flag came down, the British would declare a victory. Throughout the night they fired shot after shot trying to destroy their target, but it withstood the brutal punishment with strong determination.
After Mr. Key wrote his beautiful tribute he learned that the flag did not survive on its own volition. Each time the flag was struck, it became more and more unstable. The men, women and children inside the fort watched in disbelief as their beloved flag became more and more tattered and torn but as they watched they decided they would not let it fall. One at a time they took turns holding up the supporting pole until they sacrificed their very lives as shells fell around and on them.
While I listened to this incredible story my eyes filled with tears but when the daily slate of workout songs began with that great song I was overcome with emotion and renewed gratitude for our history and the people who continue to work tirelessly to ensure our freedom and priviledges. "The Star Spangled Banner" was followed by an hour of patriotic marches, hymns and military theme songs, ending with a 21 gun salute. My eyes watered throughout our workout, but today the cause was not the chemicals in the water.