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A good friend sent me an email on Friday, November 8th, suggesting that with Veteran's Day on the following Monday, we should do something that evening at the Boulder County Movie Nights to honor our Veterans.  As usual when I'm looking for something patriotic, I opened my copy of the Course of Study for the Public Schools of Colorado, printed for the school year of 1912.  And, as usual, it did not disappoint.  I couldn't help but think that if our current course of study for the State of Colorado was still only 296 pages long and still included a curriculum for all grades in all schools that offers suggestions for teaching all classes, but leaves the implementation of said teaching to the local teachers and families, then our children might still be getting a good education.  And if it was still suggested that "the following patriotic service is to be committed to memory," then the generations of students since 1912 might still know why it is so wonderful to be an American Citizen.

Prepared by Dr. John Grasse
(From pages 295 and 296, the last pages in the 1912 Course of Study for the Public Schools of Colorado, Issued by The Department of Public Instruction.)
The following patriotic service is to be committed to memory and used upon all patriotic anniversaries and occasions by the elementary and high schools.  The extent and frequency of its use in the elementary grades will be determined by the principal.

FIRST – Color-bearer enters room carrying the flag.  The pupils all rise to their feet and remain standing until the flag leaves the room. 

Francis Scott Key, a lawyer from Baltimore, had just successfully negotiated a one-to-one prisoner exchange with the British and went down into the hold of the ship to tell the men that they would be free that very evening. Back on deck, the British Admiral told him they would still honor their commitment, but that it really wouldn't matter, because the entire British war fleet was 2 ½ hours away, and they had orders to destroy Fort McHenry. Francis Scott Key told the Admiral that Fort McHenry was a large fort, full of women and children - predominantly not military.

The Admiral commented that they had provided a way out for the people of the Fort - an ultimatum. If they would take down the American flag from its pole up on the rampart, the shelling would stop immediately. It would be understood as surrender, and the young United States would be under British rule.

Francis Scott Key told the men about the ultimatum and the hundreds of ship drawing near, and promised to shout down to them what was happening.

At twilight, the British ships arrived and unleashed a deafening, unceasing barrage. The prisoners - the men in the hold - prayed. They shouted up "What have they done with the flag? Do you see the Flag?" A bomb would explode near the rampart and Francis Scott Key would shout down "It's still there, I still see the flag!"