Independence Day 2011

It’s Independence Day here in the States.  Independence Day… the day we celebrate many things – Freedom, Family, Life, Independence — not being dependent on another country for our country’s governance or control — in this case, independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

All over the valley, though nightfall is many hours away, the booms are sounding and fireworks dot the sky.  The humming of the  Star Spangled Banner seems to be in the breeze.  We have an old flag — each stripe pieced with heavy, cotton thread and each year I hang it from the flagpole on our front porch.  It has forty-eight stars (God bless Alaska and Hawaii and the year of their admission!) and some small holes in it that’ve been mended.   It represents the history of  this nation — and I’m so glad to have it waving in the breeze today!

I guess that’s why I grieve the governmental decisions that seem to disregard the intent and design of the government the Founders were given for this nation.  Further, I would join the many in decrying the systematic disregard of Providence and the squandering of the liberties and freedoms for which innumerable soldiers gave their lives and in an egregious about-face: the bondage to government interference, intrusion and control.  And yet… even in these often discouraging events, truly it is a great blessing to have been born in this country, to experience the abundance of the land, the majestic beauty, the incredible gifts, options, opportunities and the bounty we have. all. around. us.

So, thank You, Lord for this beautiful land… America, God’s grace shed on thee… because of the Lord, the home of the free because of the brave.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.
America! America!
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
O beautiful for heroes prov’d
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country lov’d,
And mercy more than life.
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

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