America’s National Anthem

“I don’t know all the national anthems in the world, but I don’t know of any that end with a question. Yes, the question was the one that Francis Scott Key asked — did we see, could we see that banner through the smoke and the bomb burst when morning came? Well, today, we can ask the same question. When he asked, was it floating o’er the land of the brave and the home of the free? We’re asking the question now. We know it’s still flying, but it’s up to us to see that it continues to fly over a land that is free and brave.”

Remarks at Convocation Ceremonies at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, September 20, 1983

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