It’s July 3rd as I begin to write this post, and that being the case, the playlist i selected to listen to on my iPod for my drive home from work tonight was my 4th of July playlist. Yes, i have one. On my iPod. i'm a dork like that.
John Adams HBO title theme
This is my single most favorite piece of soundtrack music ever composed and makes my heart swell with patriotism - and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up - every time i hear it.
It is pure brilliance.
i tend to be admittedly cynical about this country of ours anymore. i can’t not see the plethora of things that i see that i personally don’t agree with going on in this country. i am but one person -and will be the first to admit that i am not perfect --who IS?-- but i do my best to do this daily walk conscientiously as i go; to be part of the solution versus part of the problem -which could most certainly fuel a blog entry all of it’s own.
i can’t help but wonder how much of a factor living in and having spent the majority of my life in Los Angeles-ish has been when it comes to how i feel.
Our national anthem:
“Star Spangled Banner”
originating from Francis Scott Key’s 1814 poem, “Defense of Fort McHenry”, was later set to music and declared our national anthem in 1931
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
praise the pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
The overly-complicated simple truth about how i feel however, is that i am deeply saddened by what it seems we (America) have become. And i suppose that i should clarify that by “we”, i’m probably predominantly referring to those who have steered this country bringing us to exactly where we find ourselves as a nation.
No, it is not all “bad”; of course not. And i’m not so cynical that i can’t see or appreciate the good about this country of ours.
Yes, there is still “good” about America. Fraught with all that it is, overshadowing my throbbing feet from having been on them all day at work, the work that i do predominantly to secure health insurance, there must be a reason that i got tears in my eyes on the eve of July the 4th as i listened to patriotic music.
“America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee)”: Samuel F. Smith (1832)
Maybe how i feel about America is reflected in what i experience at work every day: it’s a seemingly endless stream of faces -all-too-many, not so nice. A population in which kids more often say “thank you” than adults do.
America can be a strange place. Nowadays.
And i wish that you could see yourselves.
And a few of you DO --and therein lies my hope in this nation. It lies in those of you who step up to the plate of we, the people alongside me versus worshipping at the altar of me, the people.
“Battle Hymn of the Republic”
(unbelievable, this video above -- it'll remind you we've no right to squander our lives nor take for granted the freedoms that so countless many lost their lives defending)
This country was founded through a very thick, devoutly Christian lens, as reflected even in most every single one of our best-loved patriotic songs. And being that we Americans have enjoyed, if not taken for granted, life here in the most powerful nation of the current Modern age, i am convinced that this country gained it’s status as such because of it’s Christian-infused foundation.
Should this indeed be true, that would also make said country “enemy #1” to the opposition; the dark side. Our enemy is a fierce one that knows plenty well that
“If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”
-- Mark 3:25
--which he appears to be using quite effectively against us.
“America the Beautiful”
penned by Katherine Lee Bates, 1913
Yes, i wonder if our Founding Fathers are proud of what the country they so valiantly founded; investing in, even giving their very lives to, has become. But the America that is still beautiful is ...you; America the beautiful is, and really always has been, we, the people --and our national parks, of course. (wink)
As i rounded the crest, patriotic music streaming from my iPod along my drive home from work, i gasped, tears instantaneously filling my eyes, as the straight stretch of road before me opened to unveil a beautiful display of fireworks dead on before me. It was a rare, magical moment that took my breath away, if only for a second. (ha- thank God it wasn’t longer!)
As i wrap up this blog post, it is the 4th of July --and i guess that, in the end, what i wish for each of us as we continue our brief mortal lives individually and collectively as “we, the people” who form the nation, is that we honor and live mindful of those who came before who built this nation that people from all over the world continue to clammer to be part of even today.
Our Founding Fathers evidently did something very “right”.
My hope is that we honor their legacy and keep kindled the spirit upon which America was founded by following their lead to the best of our ability here and now. That is my prayer for “we, the people” of the United States of America on this 4th of July of 2013.
"Heal Our Land"
written by Orrin Hatch & Janice Perry
This is a newer versus "traditional" song that i love.
Finally, i end with the patriotic song i like best for it’s lyrics...
“God Bless America”
written by the incomparable Irving Berlin