UNITED STATES−On May 7, San Francisco Mayor, London Breed, announced that the Monumental Reckoning exhibit, featuring 350 black steel sculptures standing 4’ tall, will be unveiled at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park music concourse on Juneteenth.
Juneteenth, which is celebrated on June 19, marks the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation when President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves.
The sculptures reportedly represent the first Africans who were taken from their homeland and brought over to what would become Virginia in 1619.
One year ago, on Friday, June 19, 2020, during the weeks following the death of George Floyd, protestors in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park tore down the statue of Francis Scott Key, the author of the poem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
According to reports, the statue was taken down because Francis Scott Key’s family were slave owners. Many statues and historical monuments have been destroyed after the death of George Floyd. Communities are now restoring what has been vandalized.
The Star-Spangled Banner was originally a poem, written by Francis Scott Key following the victory of the war, in September of 1814. His brother-in-law set the poem to music. According to Battlefield.org, Key was the person sent out to make negotiations between the colonies and Britain.
Key was told that the British would know they surrendered if they lowered their flag, and if they didn’t, there would be repercussions. They would be spared if they lowered the flag, but would be back under British rule.
Battlefield.org wrote, “after the hours of bombardment and the fear that the British could overtake the fort and head to Baltimore, Key awoke to a proud display of American patriotism and a symbol that they were not going to stop fighting.” Key and several others endured 20 hours of cannons and explosives being fired which lasted into the dawn.
The morning after Key saw the flag. It was tattered and torn, but it stood just the same. Key then wrote the words to the poem about this event. Later that week, he finished the poem titled, “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” On September 20, the Baltimore Patriot published, “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” Francis Scott Key’s brother-in-law set the music for the poem, which was then transformed to, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Video footage captured at a hockey game on June 10, shows New York State Police presenting the U.S. colors as performer, Nicole Raviv, lead a stadium full of hockey enthusiasts in the National Anthem. She held her microphone out so the announcers could hear the enthusiasm of the crowd. One of the hockey stars sang into the microphone for a second, as the crowds cheered.