Jul 4, 2009

Let Freedom Ring...

Flags, parades, backyard barbeques, fireworks...these are the things the typical American associates with the Fourth of July holiday celebration. Rarely do we hear someone ask, "what are you doing for Independence Day?" Yet on July 4, 1776, it was the Declaration of Independence that was signed by 56 brave men in defiance of the Brittish government, and in doing so, they were firmly relying on God. They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the purpose of forming a new Republic. Several of the signers were captured by the Brittish and tortured...others suffered by having their homes burned down. Still others fought in the Revolutionary War and were killed. Our freedom truly came at a great cost.

In the 233 years since, The United States of America has been unbelievably blessed as a nation. I hope we all will pause for a moment today and return thanks to God for all the good that has come to the world through our country, and for the freedoms we do still enjoy. May we take a little break from dwelling on the negatives (and there are, unfortunately, many) and just for today, enjoy the blessing of liberty that is still ours, and the blessing we still covet for our children and grandchildren.

My favorite patriotic song is America the Beautiful. It was written in 1893 by Katharine Lee Bates as a poem. It wasn't set to the music of Samuel A Ward until 1904. Since then, there have been many efforts to make this hymn our national anthem instead of the Star Spangled Banner. I would vote for that!

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, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine every flaw;
Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!

O beautiful, for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness and every 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!


Andy said...

House looks great, Mom! Happy 4th.

Christy said...

Happy 4th from England Jacque! Love you much!

Jacquelyn said...

hee hee hee...the picture of the house is from a couple years ago...the front door is now blue...but I did think it was a nice shot. We didn't put the festoons up this year either. Can't think of an excuse...busy? Hi to you both and thanks for commenting!