Someone shared with me the following piece about America. It can help prepare us for celebrating our Nation’s birthday.
I Am America
I was born on July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence is my birth certificate. I am the United States of America! The bloodlines of the world run in my veins because I offered freedom to the oppressed. I am millions of living souls and the ghost of millions who have lived and died for me.
A million and more of my countrymen have died for freedom and I am their monument. My ancestors left their blood on the green at Lexington and the snow at Valley Forge, on the walls of Fort Argonne Forest, on the beaches of Salerno and Normandy and the sands of Okinawa, on the bare, bleak hills called Pork Chop and Old Baldy and Heartbreak Ridge.
I am Nathan Hale and Paul Revere. I stood at Lexington and fired the shot heard ‘round the world. I am Washington, Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. I am John Paul Jones, the Green Mountain Boys, and Davy Crockett. I am Lee and Grant and Lincoln.
I am the Brooklyn Bridge, the wheat fields of Kansas, and the granite hills of Vermont. I am the coal fields of the Virginias and Pennsylvania. I am the fertile fields of the West, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Grand Canyon. I am Independence Hall, the Monitor, and the Merrimac.
I am big. I sprawl from the Atlantic to the Pacific, three million square miles throbbing with industry and farming. I am more than 5,000,000 farms; I am forest and field, mountain and desert. I am quiet villages and busy cities that never sleep.
You can look at me and see Ben Franklin walking down the streets of Philadelphia with his loaf of bread under his arm. You can see Betsy Ross with her needle. You can see the lights of Christmas and hear the strains of “Auld Lang Syne” as the calendar turns.
I am Babe Ruth and the World Series. I am the laughter of a small boy as he watches a circus clown’s antics. I am the light of triumph in the eyes of a six-year-old boy as he reads aloud for the first time. I am 175,000 schools and colleges and 275,000 churches where people worship God as they think best. I am a ballot dropped in a box, the roar of a crowd in a stadium, and the voice of a choir in a cathedral.
I am an editorial in a newspaper and a letter to a congressman. I am Eli Whitney and Stephen Foster. I am Tom Edison and Albert Einstein and Billy Graham. I am Horace Greeley, Will Rogers, and the Wright Brothers. I am George Washington Carver, Daniel Webster, and Jonas Salk. I am Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Walt Whitman, and Thomas Paine.
Yes, I am the nation and these are the things I am. I was conceived in freedom, and God willing, in freedom will I spend the rest of my days. May I always possess the integrity, the courage, and the strength to keep myself unshackled, to remain a citadel of freedom, and a beacon of hope to the world.
God Bless America!