Defense of Fort McHenry

O! say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, 
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming, 
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, 
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming? 
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, 
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there — 
O! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave 
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave? 

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, 
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, 
What is that which the breeze o’er the towering steep, 
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? 
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam, 
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream — 
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave 
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave. 

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore 
That the havock of war and the battle’s confusion 
A home and a country should leave us no more? 
Their blood has wash’d out their foul foot-steps’ pollution,
No refuge could save the hireling and slave, 
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave; 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave 
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave. 

O! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand 
Between their lov’d home, and the war’s desolation, 
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land 
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation! 
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, 
And this be our motto — “In God is our trust!” 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave 
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

                          – Francis Scott Key


I like to think I have a good ear for music, and a wide and eclectic taste in many genres. Still, never heard of this guy before.  Robert Randolph.  He opened for Third Day on Saturday, and just rocked.  Enjoy a couple songs:

Sonnet 29

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee—and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
   For thy sweet love rememb’red such wealth brings
   That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

                          –William Shakespeare

Flight 182

Residents pay tribute to PSA crash victims

September 26, 2008 

JOHN GIBBINS / Union-Tribune
Former Pacific Southwest Airlines pilot Jim Van Vranken freed a dove in memory of friends and co-workers who died when PSA Flight 182 (top photo) crashed 30 years ago yesterday at Dwight and Nile streets in North Park.
NORTH PARK – Thirty years after a passenger jet slammed into North Park in what was then the worst aviation disaster in the nation’s history, longtime San Diego residents have yet to shake all they witnessed that day.More than 100 people showed up yesterday morning for an impromptu remembrance of the victims of the crash, crowding the very corner where the Pacific Southwest Airlines Boeing 727 fell to the ground at 9:02 a.m. Sept. 25, 1978.

Standing at Dwight and Nile streets, emotions welled up as those gathered squeezed loved ones and traded stories about that awful morning when the passenger jet and a small private plane collided in a bright, cloudless sky and 144 people lost their lives.

As 9:02 a.m. approached, attendees joined in an extended moment of silence. Heads bowed across a wide circle eight and 10 people deep.

In the center, next to a floral wreath resting on a wooden easel, stood Ray Bentley, a pastor at Maranatha Chapel in Rancho Bernardo. He was trying to wrestle some sense from a terrible day long ago.

Hans Wendt / (c)1978

“Maybe somehow today, a little bit more comfort and healing will come,” Bentley said, before reciting Psalm 23. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want . . . ”

PSA was a San Diego-based carrier that focused on flights throughout California. Flight 182 had left Sacramento that morning and stopped in Los Angeles before heading to San Diego.

More than two dozen of the crash victims were PSA employees because the airline offered off-duty personnel sharply discounted seats on flights that were not fully booked.

Former PSA pilot Jim Van Vranken barely missed boarding Flight 182. He took a later flight out of L.A. and arrived at Lindbergh Field minutes after the crash.

“All I can see is their young faces,” said Van Vranken, who had avoided the corner of Dwight and Nile until yesterday.

Online: For more on PSA Flight 182, go to

Joe Irwin of Solana Beach lost his brother, John, in the accident.

He brought boxes of white doves yesterday to release in his brother’s memory, and offered a bird to those who cared to mark their remembrance.

“One day we will all follow that same journey home to our Father in heaven,” Irwin said. A moment later he loosened his grip and let one bird fly.