March 1, 2012 - Issue: Vol. 158, No. 33 — Daily Edition112th Congress (2011 - 2012) - 2nd Session
COMMEMORATING THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WAR OF 1812 AND ``THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER''; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 33
(Senate - March 01, 2012)
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[Page S1369] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] COMMEMORATING THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WAR OF 1812 AND ``THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER'' Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the consideration of S. Res. 388. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title. The legislative clerk read as follows: A resolution (S. Res. 388) commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and ``The Star Spangled Banner,'' and recognizing the historical significance, heroic human endeavor, and sacrifice of the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Revenue Marine Service, and State militias, during the War of 1812. There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution. Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, and any statements related to the matter be printed in the Record. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The resolution (S. Res. 388) was agreed to. The preamble was agreed to. The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows: S. Res. 388 Whereas the period beginning in 2012 and ending in 2015 marks the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812 and ``The Star Spangled Banner''; Whereas the War of 1812, which has been referred to as the ``Second War of Independence'', confirmed the independence of the United States from Great Britain in the eyes of the world and shaped the expansion and growth of the United States in later decades; Whereas the United States declared war on Great Britain on June 18, 1812, to redress wrongs including-- (1) the impressment of United States sailors; (2) the violation of the neutrality rights of the United States; and (3) the violation of the territorial waters of the United States; Whereas, despite the vastly superior size of the military of Great Britain, the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Revenue Marine Service (a predecessor of the United States Coast Guard), and State militias (the predecessors of the National Guard), won a number of significant victories, ensuring that the liberties won by the United States during the Revolutionary War were not lost; Whereas major battles of the War of 1812 that were fought on the water, including the battle between U.S.S. Constitution and H.M.S. Guerriere, the Battle of Lake Champlain, and victories on the Great Lakes, showcased the might, bravery, and war-fighting tactics of the United States maritime forces; Whereas the decisive victory of Oliver Hazard Perry over a British fleet near Put-In-Bay, Ohio in the Battle of Lake Erie ensured that-- (1) the United States gained control of the Great Lakes; and (2) portions of the Old Northwest Territory, such as Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, remained part of the United States; Whereas State militias, the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States, answered the call to service, defending their communities and their country from aggression by Great Britain; Whereas United States forces seized the city of Mobile from Spanish control in 1813, built Fort Bowyer to protect the city, and in 1814 successfully repelled a vastly larger British force from the city, resulting in Mobile becoming one of the few permanent land concessions gained by the United States during the War of 1812; Whereas Great Britain unleashed grievous attacks on the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C., burning to the ground the United States Capitol Building, the White House, and much of the rest of the city; Whereas, after 2 \1/2\ years of conflict, the British Royal Navy sailed up the Chesapeake Bay in an attempt to capture Baltimore, Maryland; Whereas United States forces at Fort McHenry, stationed in the outer harbor of Baltimore, Maryland under the command of Brevet Lieutenant Colonel George Armistead, withstood nearly 25 hours of bombardment by the British forces and refused to yield, thereby forcing the British to give up the invasion and withdraw; Whereas Francis Scott Key, a United States lawyer who was being held by the British on board a United States flag-of- truce vessel in the harbor, saw ``by the dawn's early light'', as Key would later write, an American flag still flying over Fort McHenry after the horrific attack; Whereas Francis Scott Key immortalized the event in a poem entitled ``Defense of Fort McHenry'', which was later set to music and called ``The Star-Spangled Banner''; Whereas ``The Star-Spangled Banner'' became the national anthem of the United States on March 3, 1931, when President Herbert Hoover signed Public Law 71 823; Whereas General Andrew Jackson, who would later become the seventh President of the United States, won the Battle of Horsehoe Bend and then triumphed in the decisive Battle of New Orleans, which, although fought after the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, was a great source of pride to the young United States and provided momentum for growth and prosperity in the years that would follow; Whereas, since 1916, the people of the United States have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of national parks and sites of historical significance to the country, including Fort McHenry and more than 30 other sites and National Heritage Areas that tell the story of the War of 1812; Whereas the diverse historic sites relating to the War of 1812 include homes, battlefields, and landscapes that highlight the contributions made by a wide range of people in the United States during the war; Whereas one such historic site is the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, the birthplace of ``The Star Spangled Banner'', where the symbols of both the flag and the national anthem of the United States come together; Whereas the people of the United States are grateful for the rights defended through hard fighting during the War of 1812 by the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Revenue Marine Service, and State militias, including the protection of United States citizens at home and abroad, unrestricted trade, free and open ports, and the protection of the territorial integrity of the United States against aggression; and Whereas, during the bicentennial years of the War of 1812 and ``The Star Spangled Banner'', it is fitting that the bravery and steadfast determination of the United States land and maritime forces be celebrated by the grateful people of the United States: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate-- (1) honors the memory of all the people of the United States who came together during the War of 1812, particularly the fallen heroes who gave their lives during the ``Second War of Independence''; (2) commends the men and women of the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, and the State National Guards, who preserve the ideals of freedom, democracy, and the pursuit of happiness that were guaranteed by the victories of the War of 1812; (3) congratulates the Armed Forces of the United States, the National Parks Service, the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, and all other organizations and individuals who are involved in preserving and promoting the history of this great country, and supports their commemoration of the War of 1812 and ``The Star Spangled Banner''; and (4) calls on all people of the United States to join in the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and ``The Star Spangled Banner'' in events throughout the United States, to celebrate that at the end of the war, as Francis Scott Key wrote, ``our flag was still there''. ____________________