“Oh 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 Crowned Thy good with brotherhood
From Sea to Shining Sea” by Katharine Lee Bates 1913
Do you think it sounds quite arrogant to say that the United States is the greatest nation on earth? Perhaps it does, but when I hear those 2 words, American Exceptionalism, it causes me to ponder about the world in which we live and also about what makes America so great. Obviously, I am uncovering the fact that I take this life of freedom we have in America for granted, mainly because I have not lived outside this country; I have not lived where freedom does not abound. We hear of American pride and strain our ears to listen as folks unfold the their stories of places they have traveled and lived, where hostility and fear prevail. Just the other day a friend was telling me of the fear she experienced while in Paris. Her long-awaited European tour was infiltrated at times, with doubt and fear. She was glad to be HOME, back on American soil.
The Gingham Apron girls are all looking forward to our next holiday. Most young folks call it “The 4th of July”. Older folks call it Independence Day. I know it by it’s vibrant colors and shapes (the stars and the stripes), and also by the traditional foods we have eaten since I was a youngin”……fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and homemade ice cream with fresh picked black raspberries……cherry pie. (We now add wonderful Flag Cake to our 4th of July menu.)That food was always ready to be served up as soon as our extended family returned home from the cacophony of music in the colorful parade…..which is another must on the “to do” list of this fun summer holiday. And then the ending of the day was always met with bug spray, lightening bugs and the oooooing and awhhhing at the beauty up in the sky……the very loud booming and the array of colors of the sparkling and sizzling fireworks!!! So Fun!! So Exciting! Wouldn’t miss it for anything! Of course I donned our national colors of red, white and blue, somewhere, somehow on my body, but did I really concentrate on why we were celebrating….. so many years after the fact of our INDEPENDENCE? How many of us concentrate, though, on our independence as a nation? Why is it really such a “big deal”? Why did our nation fight so hard for it?
Good old George Washington was a farmer, too. George was also an experienced military man (French and Indian War) who was very willing to fight for the freedom of his beloved country. He knew from experience what it was like to live in this country controlled so heavily by a government of which he felt he couldn’t breathe (TAXATION, TAXATION, TAXATION, SO………………..he took action, along with many other brave and courageous men, because they understood the importance of self-reliance, with God’s help.
When people around the world see our flag, do they understand the significance of its colors, stripes and stars? Do we, The People?
The red stands for courage
The white stands for purity and innocence
The blue stands for vigilance, perseverance and justice
The stars: They represent the 50 states of the United States of America
The stripes: 13 of them. They represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the first states in the Union.
Some see it and hate it; yet some do everything they can to get into this country and stay, as they see our land as a place of protection, freedom and peace. So is it arrogant to promote this exceptional country, or is it a compliment…..as something to be very proud of?
What will you do this Independence Day?
Will you think about the words America the Beautiful this 4th and sing it to the kids?
Will you make this day special with a special menu OR the wearing of the colors, OR the flying of our flag?
Will you wash up the children’s bikes, and buy some steamers for the handle bars and let them ride in the parade?
Will you tell them why we celebrate with fireworks, while they are viewing them?
Willl you say “thank you for serving our great nation” to a military man or woman?
Will you wave the flag, sing a patriotic songs, and stand with your hand over your heart or salute when the red white and blue comes marching along?
I believe we are living in the greatest nation in the universe……so let’s do our best to keep it that way! And let’s thank our Heavenly Father for the privilege to live in this amazing country!
We celebrate the Declaration of Independence of 1776, yet the war continued on for 5 MORE YEARS! Many lives were lost. Many bodies were injured. Let us never forget.
this country offers and to continue to pursue our God given rights: LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. In Jesus Name, Amen