I have visited several countries and lived outside these boundaries and I can say with certainty: I am grateful to live in the United States of America—with all her flaws and strengths at this appointed time in history.
Saint Paul wrote in Acts 17:26 these words: From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.
Woodie Guthrie set these words to music:
This land is your land, this land is my land,
From California to the New York Island,
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters,
This land was made for you and me.
Visionaries: courageous men and women left their native lands and dared to pursue change to establish a “more perfect union”. We are indebted to these visionaries who established this land for you and me.
Vast: this is a vast and magnificent nation from “sea to shining sea” as described by Katherine I. Bates & Samuel A. Ward song America the Beautiful.
O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties about the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.
Variety: our country has been labeled the “melting pot of the world” because of the hundreds of nationalities who choose to make this their home. They come from every tribe and tongue in pursuit of freedom in the land of opportunity. Their skin colors resemble porcelain, mahogany, ebony and goldenrod--the masses woven together like a quilt of humanity. This patriotic folk song by Don Raye and Al Jacobs, (verse two) becomes their mantra:
This is my country, land of my choice;
This is my country, hear my proud voice.
Vocations: one of our unalienable rights is the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Most citizens exercise this right and pursue vocations with great ingenuity, hoping to realize the “American dream”.
Voice: another of our privileges in this great country is the right to vote and voice our opinions. We may protest, agree or agree to disagree in this process. Samuel F. Smith & Henry Carey wrote this in verses three and four of America:
Let music swell the breeze, and ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let moral tongues awake; let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.
Veterans: as free citizens of this great country, we are forever indebted to those courageous men and women who have fought and still fight to defend and protect us from harm. The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key gives insight to this in verse two:
O thus be it ever, when free men shall stand between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n rescued land praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just; and this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Vacancy: our WELCOME mat remains-- open to all who choose to live in this great country. A portion of Emma Lazarus’ famous sonnet The New Colossus states our philosophy well:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
On this July 4th holiday, folks will march in parades and enjoy picnics and fireworks. As citizens we will celebrate our freedom and remember why we love our country.
Vow: the ending of This is My Country states my sentiments about this great nation.
I pledge thee my allegiance, America, the bold
For this is my country to have and to hold.