Anyway. So I say that just to illustrate that I just never feel inconvenienced for an opportunity to talk about this stuff. I don't need a segue at all. But if I ever did then the Fourth of July is, as far as I'm concerned, about as good of a time as any to talk about Fort McHenry.
I've done a lot of genealogy over the last decade or so and somewhere down the line my family is related to James McHenry.
On September 17, 1787 he was one of 40 people to have signed the United States Constitution. [You can read the whole thing if you're up for it.]
He died on May 3, 1816 at the age of 62 and upon the death of her beloved husband, Mrs. McHenry wrote this:
"Here we come to the end of a life of a courteous, high-minded, keen-spirited, Christian gentleman. He was not a great man, but participated in great events and great men loved him, while all men appreciated his goodness and purity of soul. His highest titles to remembrance are that he was faithful to every duty and that he was the intimate and trusted friend of Lafayette, of Hamilton, and of Washington."
[Click that picture! That's the same exact flag. The thing was huge. And apparently cost a bit over $400 bucks to make. And that's a lot of loot in 1814.]
And when Key saw the flag emerge intact in the dawn of the following day he was so moved that he began that morning to compose the poem "The Defence of Fort McHenry" which would later be renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and become the United States' national anthem.
So that's it.
When I first started doing some family genealogy and learned about James McHenry I remember being struck by the fact that in the few images I could find of him he kind of resembled my Uncle Alphonsus Andrew McHenry in some real ways. The curly hair, filtrum, chin, eyes. A lot of resemblances if you ask me. Anyway, maybe this photo of him [and my Aunt Kate] isn't the very best example to offer as comparison but I'm including it anyway as I love it so much.
Okay. That's it.
Have a great weekend.