Sunday, July 4, 2010

America. It's beautiful!!

It's not Thursday, but today is not a day to be missed gratitude-wise.

I am forever grateful to be an American.

I have been enjoying the last few weeks reading historical fiction about the Revolutionary War, things about the Constitutional Convention, the Declaration of Independence, and children's books about colonial America with Jonzy.

I adore history, and especially love the history of my country. What a story it is! I am astounded at the ways people sacrificed for the cause as they fought for America's freedom. I am also shocked at the similarities of people then with people now who wanted the freedom, but didn't want to have to do anything for it and expected it just to be handed to them because they asked for it. In the words of the great Thomas Paine:

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.

Oddly enough, I haven't had to give anything dear to me for my freedom. I was born here in this great land, hundreds of years after it's inception. But I am not ignorant. I have seen accounts of what life is like in other countries. I have read of many things suffered before America was independent. As far back as I can remember, my parents taught my brothers and me how special our country is. I have always felt some sense of patriotism and became quite zealous in my teenage years. Since I have become a cognizant adult, I have an even deeper understanding and love for what I am blessed with as an American citizen.

America is indeed a beautiful place. I am often awed by the natural beauty here. I am inspired by the incredible men and women who sacrificed for and established this nation and for those who have maintained it since.

I am grateful for this country; that I was raised here and that I can raise my children here. I can't help but cry when I sing The Star Spangled Banner, most especially the third verse. I get choked up reading the Declaration of Independence. The sight of the American flag swells my heart and stories of patriots make me proud.

I don't feel like I have the words to really say what I'd like to. So, in my opinion, music can say it best. Read these glorious lyrics of a simple and beautiful song and enjoy this amazing weekend of celebration:)

My country,' tis of thee, 
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

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