Beth Siegalkoff

Today we celebrate our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics on Sept. 14, 1814, during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. Not during the Revolutionary War as many believe. It was originally called “Defense of Fort McHenry”. There were many patriotic songs at the time, and The Star Spangled Banner became another one of them, one that struck at the heart of Americans, and gained popularity over the years, But, for a long time America did not have an official national anthem. It wasn’t until over 100 years later that The Star Spangled Banner became the national anthem of the United States of America. On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional resolution officially making “The Star Spangled Banner” the national anthem of the United States of America.

A bit of history . . . In August 1814, the British army detained Dr. William Beanes as a prisoner of war. He was a friend of Francis Scott Key. On Sept. 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key and a U.S. negotiator boarded a British vessel where Beanes was being held. He negotiated his friend’s release. But then, Francis Scott Key was detained that day along with the negotiator. They were held until after the attack on Fort McHenry, which guarded the harbor and city of Baltimore. He watched the bombardment of the fort from the ship. The next morning, he was ecstatic to see that the American flag was still flying over Fort McHenry. This historic event inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star Spangled Bar” the following day on the back of an envelope, the only paper he had available.

On this special day, proudly fly the USA flag at your home or place of business. Take this as an opportunity to sing the national anthem or listen to it being sung, a way of reconnecting with your patriotism.

This weather has been gorgeous. I wrote about cyclamen and camellias last week and they are still going strong. But the tulips and daffodils are starting to pop out of ground. There is large tub of about a dozen or so deep purple tulips with brilliant yellow centers just outside one of our kitchen windows. Although, I would love to pick them and bring them inside, I will leave them where they are blooming. However, I did purchase a large bunch of pink peony tulips (with yellow center) at the local grocery store. Peony tulips have double ruffle petals and smell delightful. I love having cut flowers indoors. They brighten the room even on the dark cloudy days. Alstroemerias are my go-to cut flower when I can’t find tulips. They are very showy, come in several colors and last for at least two weeks when the stems are trimmed regularly. So, if you need a floral pick-me-up to brighten your day, check out the local florists or grocery stores for cut flowers. That way you can enjoy your flower garden and have flowers inside your home too.

Flower of the day: Impatiens – Recipe of the day: Pigs ‘n Taters

Dates to remember:

March 14: Daylight Saving Time – turn your clock ahead one hour

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day

March 20: Spring begins

March 27: Passover

March 28: Palm Sunday

Until next week – Be strong, be courageous and make a memory.