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Our flag was and is still there

Right hand placed over my heart. Left arm behind my back. Eyes transfixed on the larger American flag near the north end zone in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
I habitually assume this position as “The Star-Spangled Banner” echoes at the start of each football game. Although “The Star-Spangled Banner” will never appear on the Top 25 Most Played playlist on my iPod, it produces a feeling in me that few other songs can reproduce.
During the solemn silence, I reflect on the meaning of the song and how it applies to not just the historic triumph of our country, but my own life.
I urge each of you to take the opportunity to do the same the next time “The Star-Spangled Banner” is sung in the Vaught.
Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 1814. He was so inspired by the resilience of the Fort McHenry occupants that at “the dawn’s early light” (after a night of heavy bombardment by the British), he began writing a poem that would evolve into our national anthem on the back of a letter he was carrying.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” has been played at memorial services for fallen soldiers and as a battle cry before battle. I wish to focus on the latter as the song simultaneously fills me with pride and motivation.
Specifically the lines that read, “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” Those words resonate with me ever so greatly. It reaffirms for me every time I hear them that sometimes life is not going to go my way and troubles will emerge. In spite of that, the lyrics also provide fervent reassurance. Chill bumps riddle my arms as I hear “our flag was still there.” Through it all our flag was still there.
Sometimes we as college students become overwhelmed with the amount of reading, studying and, for some of us, working we have to do. However, I strongly suggest meditating on the national anthem when times get rough (Yes, I am aware of how corny that sounds, but hear me out).
Francis Scott Key provided us with a great motivational tool.
In life, we’re going to encounter some tough times. We won’t always have the answers. Friendships and relationships will begin and end. However, we should keep in mind that “our flag was still there,” and you too will emerge from whatever plight life has you in. Though you may not emerge as crisp and clean as you were before the struggle or battle began, you WILL emerge after the all the proverbial bombing. And like our country after the War of 1812, you too will become stronger and better.
Thank you, Mr. Francis Scott Key.

Tim Abram is a public policy junior from Horn Lake. Follow him on Twitter @Tim_Abram.