Editor, The Times,

There is a video on Youtube that I believe needs to be brought to everyone’s attention.

It’s called “The Star Spangled Banner As You’ve Never Heard It”.

It’s my understanding the video is narrated by a pastor, who is giving a detailed account of the events that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star Spangled Banner” in September of 1814.

During the War of 1812 in Baltimore, near Fort McHenry, the British had American prisoners in ships roughly 1000 yards off the coast.

The Americans sent a young lawyer named Francis Scott Key, who negotiated a one-for-one exchange as the Americans also had British prisoners.

After the negotiation, the British told him it really made no difference, because they had given our country an ultimatum at Fort McHenry.

In a matter of hours, they would bomb the fort until the flag came down or until  American trrops voluntarily took it down in the form of a surrender.

Key stayed on the ship that night and watched hour after hour as the British mercilessly bombed our countrymen at Fort McHenry with everything they had.

All night, as bombs lit up the sky, he took note that the flag was not coming down.

What he witnessed is illustrated perfectly in the lyrics of the song: the “rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

He gave the anxious prisoners below reports on the events taking place, particularly regarding the flag.

Throughout the night, he could hear their prayers that God would bless our flag to remain standing and not fall to the enemy.

Miraculously, “by the dawn’s early light,” our flag was still there!

Key went to the fort immediately upon returning to the shore and found that the flag and flagpole had been repetitiously hit. It would have fallen but for the patriots -- men and boys -- who, rather than let that flag hit the ground, held it up humanly.

When they died, others would step up to take their place. After the shelling ceased that morning, it was patriots’ dead bodies that caused the flag to remain standing.

Please watch and share this video. I’m thankful to say that it currently has about 20 million views.

Numerous ‘reaction’ videos exist, made by people in other countries who have watched it and are amazed, sometimes brought to tears, by the heroic events of those patriots that night.

America’s history and God’s hand in it is an inspiration to people all over the world and always has been.

Americans need to know and appreciate the sacrifices that have been made for their freedoms.

When we understand history like this, I believe we will be more motivated and inspired to stand against those who seek to destroy this country and who, in doing so, discredit the sacrifices of those who have given so much.

Brooks Strickland

Blackshear