Thursday, June 30, 2016

 

In Honor of the Fourth of July--Happy Birthday America!

Well, the USA is about to celebrate yet another birthday, and although some people think that the brightness has worn off this "city on a hill," I'm not ready to read her obituary yet. I went back into the archives to find some quotes for today. The first one comes from John Wayne. On the internet you can find a lot of fun stuff about the Duke, but this audio of him speaking about his country is priceless to me. Click here to listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuteyiYN6js.

I wanted to add another one from my favorite actor. In the movie "The Alamo," Duke plays Davey Crockett, leader to the Tennessee volunteers. At one point in the movie he gives a speech about the USA and the idea of a "republic." Here is the excerpt I liked the best:

"Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words give you a feeling. Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat - the same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step or his first baby shaves and makes his first sound as a man. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words."

Finally, I wanted to share a poem with you all. About 8 years ago I discovered the poetry of Edgar Guest. The first poem I ran into was his "It Couldn't Be Done" in which he describes an optimist who wouldn't say "it couldn't be done" until he tried, and in trying the optimist accomplished the thing. At any rate, Guest is the author of dozens of patriotic poems, and I wanted to share this one in honor of the men and women who serve the USA in the various branches of our military and reserves. As you read this poem, why not say a short prayer of thanks for their service and ask God to protect them as they serve? Here's the poem, "The Things that Make a Soldier Great," by Edgar Guest:

The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die,
To face the flaming cannon's mouth nor ever question why,
Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red,
The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed,
The grass plot where his children play, the roses on the wall:
'Tis these that make a soldier great.
He's fighting for them all. 
'Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make a soldier brave;
'Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may wave;
For soldiers never fight so well on land or on the foam
As when behind the cause they see the little place called home.
Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run,
You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun. 
What is it through the battle smoke the valiant solider sees?
The little garden far away, the budding apple trees,
The little patch of ground back there, the children at their play,
Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church of gray.
The golden thread of courage isn't linked to castle dome
But to the spot, where'er it be --the humblest spot called home. 
And now the lilacs bud again and all is lovely there
And homesick soldiers far away know spring is in the air;
The tulips come to bloom again, the grass once more is green,
And every man can see the spot where all his joys have been.
He sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call,
And only death can stop him now --he's fighting for them all.
On this fourth of July weekend, as you give thanks for the freedoms and opportunities God has given you in this land, please remember to pray for those who defend our way of life and for the families of those whose loved ones paid the ultimate price so that we can enjoy our great republic. Remember, it may be a cliche, but it is true that "Freedom isn't free."

Thanks for reading!

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