The American National anthem is a strange thing, it’s not at all like the anthems of other nations. No talk of a Queen reigning o’er us, not a call to arms, or unifying pledge of unity. It’s not cheering a prior victory or rallying for a future one. It’s a question.
When we hear the anthem, we are asking one another that question.
Does that banner yet wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
The flag is still there, yes, but are We the People still free and brave? Seeing the flag still waving gave Francis Scott Key hope, but he was still unsure.
Is the flag waving over a defeated battlefield, left there by the last dying man and not yet torn down by the victor, or are there true Americans left living, left to stand up?
We answer that question in the affirmative by standing tall, with our hands over our hearts and our eyes fixed on Old Glory.
I stand, to proclaim
YES, I AM STILL HERE.
I AM FREE, I AM BRAVE, I AM AMERICAN.
And if I am the only one left who is willing and able to still stand for that flag, I will do so.
I stand to answer YES.