Saturday, September 13, 2014

General Ross, the Irish, the Star Spangled Banner, and Memory

A relative forwarded this link to me--Irish Ulster schoolkids with a US flag at the General Ross memorial in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland, set to the music of the Star Spangled Banner.

Some points:
  • who was Ross?  -- the British general who commanded the forces which won the Battle of Bladensburg, leading to the burning of public buildings in DC in late summer 1814. He was killed by a sniper during the attack on Fort McHenry, hence the connection to the Star Spangled Banner/flag.
  • the comments on the video show that some in Ulster/Ireland have a long long memory and bear grudges--Ross was from the landowning class.
  • from the video, I guess that drones have now a place in public ceremonies.
  • the 200th anniversary of the writing of the song has gotten Francis Scott Key a good bit of notice, but little comment on his ownership of some slaves, his freeing of some, his prosecution of cases against and for slaves as an attorney in DC and sometime district attorney for the district.  Does this mean Americans, unlike the Irish, have a shorter memory or don't like to dwell on the gloomy and complicated?

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