Saturday, November 22, 2014

You never know when you will need friends to bail you out

In June 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain. In August, a variety of American invasion forces invade Canada. Canadians do not welcome us with open arms. The "war hawks" ,the equivalent of neocons today, did not have much luck.

Invasion forces do manage a raid on Port Dover on upper Lake Erie. and burn British supplies and private houses.

Brits invade America. They have orders to avenge the raid on Port Dover. Incompetent military leadership defending Washington allows a small British force to sack Washington. Washington burns.

Attention turns to Baltimore. Battle of Baltimore is a combined land-sea battle.Cagey old Revolutionary veteran Major General Samuel Smith leads a spirited American land defense. Brit forces are rebuffed on the earthwork fortification on the outskirts of Baltimore. Brit leadership decides a frontal attack on land would not do and decids to bombard Fort Henry and approach Baltimore by sea.

On a ship, a lawyer by the name of Francis Scott Key is held on board a British ship as the battle of Fort Henry commences . Mr. Key is there trying to win the release of prisoners and since he sees the preparations for battle the Brits keep him on board. Francis Scott Key pens a poem Oh, say can you see, by the dawns early light.... Over the next few decades it becomes the national anthem.

On November 18th, 2014, the Nashville Predators  are facing the Toronto Maple Leafs in hockey. The national anthem is being sung before the Canadian audience. Something goes wrong. The sound is lost. First one, then tens, then hundreds of Canadian fans join in finishing the star spangled banner.

200 years, a conflict comes full circle. Kind of interesting.

comment: I posted this on Facebook on the 21st of November, but liked this story so much, I added it to my blog here. I wonder how many Americans would or could get up and help with the words to the Canadian anthem.. Oh, Canada, Our home and native land!... I looked it up.