It was a small crowd, but a wonderful event! Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the VFW Auxiliary took a fun look at our history as readers told the story of the birth of our nation. A trip back in time to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as our forefathers struggled two days over Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence. After some 80 plus changes from punctuation, to changed words, to totally striking out total paragraphs, it was decided the Declaration was complete. Did you ever wonder why John Hancock’s signature was so large? According to the readers, he wrote “…it large enough so King George could read it without his spectacles.”
Once this great nation was born the question of leadership was brought forward and what would the new leader be called…King, Mister, or Mr. President. In this reading, the term limits were carefully examined as was the question of what to do with a leader once their term was over. There was one suggestion which made everyone laugh.
The evening started with a video of how our National Anthem came to be written during the war of 1812 when Francis Scott Key, a lawyer was permitted on a British Ship to negotiate an exchange of prisoners with the British. Once the agreement was made, Key was told the flag, our National Ensign, flying over Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, was to come down—permanently by sunset, or the entire British fleet would begin to bomb the fort filled with soldiers and families. The fort held fast and our flag flew strong. Prisoners would ask Key if the rampart was still there. The battle lasted some 27 hours of bombing and while the pole was broken, our flag still flew. Key jotted down a rather lengthy poem which music about this experience. Music was added to the poem and it became what we now know, The Star Spangled Banner. When it started to play, the entire audience stood in respect.
Readers represented the community, Scouts, VFW Essay Contest participants, VFW and Auxiliary Members. While Forks Old Fashioned Fourth of July offered so many wonderful events, games, food opportunities, family and friends, the VFW and VFW Auxiliary took us back to the beginning, July 4, 1776.