There will be a lot of talk this weekend about where people were when they first heard the news that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, ten years ago. I was in my office at the church where I pastored in Indiana. My wife called me and told the news to me. I relayed the information on to our staff and we all went down to a room that had a television set in it and watched in horror as the rest of the events of that day played out in New York, in Washington DC, and in Pennsylvania.
We were in the middle of our annual mission conference that week and so that night we all gathered together as planned. We sang many patriotic hymns that night including our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.
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 thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
But that night we didn’t stop with just the first verse to that grand old Patriotic Hymn. We sang them all. And when we got to the last verse, the words seemed ever so appropriate on the September evening. I think that last verse to our National Anthem is just as appropriate today, ten years later.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory 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 shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!