National Anthem Anniversary Recalls Faith in God

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, which was adopted as the US National Anthem in 1931.  Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics in September 1814.

Most are at least familiar with the first stanza; few realize there are actually more words to the song. Tellingly, the song closes with a stanza recalling the Nation’s reliance upon God:

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause 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!

With reference to the Smithsonian.