“God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above…”
As we watched “Third of July” fireworks last night, classic American patriotic songs were the soundtrack for the show. The words of those songs went through my mind and trickled down to my heart. I wondered if my daughter, a naturalized U. S. citizen like myself, knew the words yet. So I sang them into her ear as she leaned against me on the blanket under the firecracker sky, one song after another.
You see, I am a patriot, regardless that I was not born here. I have travelled enough to still believe that America is one of the greatest countries in the world. Our family has served in the military and my cousin made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan for the American liberties I often take for granted.
There is always a sacrifice for freedom.
There used to be a time in America when we all agreed on “basics.” We were taught we had the right to respectfully disagree with one another but it didn’t change our unity. We respected the office of the President even if we didn’t agree with the person who filled it or the policies and laws that were passed. We were still “One nation under God, indivisible…”
What happened to “One nation under God?” Our founders all were God-fearing Christians, men of great faith.
“Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave…Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me: Give me liberty, or give me death!”
-Patrick Henry, Virginia Convention, St. John’s Church, March 23, 1775
Reading through some of our early great American speeches and seeing how faith-filled and Christ-honoring our forefathers of this country were, I see that Patrick Henry was quoting Scripture throughout the entirety of this speech, given a year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. These were the ideals that were the foundation of this nation. These ideals are the ones Irving Berlin believed in when he wrote this song.
“From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.”
~Irving Berlin, 1938
Here is my plea: Remember your history, America. Good men and women have sacrificed and will continue to sacrifice much to preserve this nation, my home, sweet home.