2nd Prize – Intermediate
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2nd Prize – Intermediate

Luciano Guerra

Charter School of Morgan Hill

4th Grade – Mrs. Guerrero

My favorite song about America is “The National Anthem” by Francis Scott Key.  I learned “The Star Spangled Banner” in second grade.  The words, at first, didn’t make sense, but as I got older I understood the meaning of the words of the song more.  “The Star Spangled Banner” is our nation’s national anthem. Francis Scott Key wrote the words after watching the British attack the U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry.  This was in 1812.  The fight lasted for 25 hours.  At the end, he saw the American flag still waving after such a long struggle.

Francis Scott Key was on a ship watching the battle.  He was so inspired that he wrote these words on the back of a letter while watching the large American flag wave over the fort.  That is where “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there” in the song comes from.

Since the military had adopted this song for different ceremonies, President Woodrow Wilson made it the national anthem of the United States in 1916.  This song was especially important because the American flag became a powerful symbol of our nation.

In 1918, the song was first performed at the first World Series game between the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox.  Soon after, other baseball teams and other sports chose this song as part of their pregame tradition. As a baseball player and sports fan, I feel very proud to stand up and honor the American flag waving before the game begins.

My grandfather has told me stories about my great-grandfather, Joseph Bessa who was in World War II for two years.  He fought the enemy in the South Pacific on two islands, New Guinea and the Philippines. He lost a number of friends and came home considering himself lucky to be alive.  He continued to have much respect and pride for his country.  I am very proud of him because he served in the U.S. Army.  He served from 1944-1945.  My middle name is Joseph, and it makes be realize how important it is to be an American because of him.

Again, my favorite songs about America is “The Star Spangled Banner” because it describes how our country fought for its freedom.  The flag was still flying which meant that the soldiers were still standing, and America had won the battle.  America is the “Land of the free and the home of the brave . . .”