Monday, June 28, 2010

My Country, ‘Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty!

Freedom is precious to all of us. It isn’t free, but it’s fought for. Have you ever wondered why tears so freely come to our eyes when we hear the Star Spangled Banner as our flag waves in the distance? Why do we value our freedom and hold it so close to our hearts?

Samuel F. Smith wrote, “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing; Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims’ pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”

Our freedom was a God-given gift given to those who so valiantly fought for this liberty. These brave patriots hungered for freedom of choice, for their rights, and to worship according to the dictates of their own heart. The patriots fought with every fiber of strength they had, both bond and free. Many were barefoot and in tattered clothes; some were deathly sick and hadn’t had a decent meal for months. They were weary and hungry but yet they still fought for what they believed in. The patriots knew the value of freedom and were willing to pay the price. Many of these brave men were even willing to die for freedom.

Nathan Hale, a 23-year-old artist and schoolteacher, felt the conviction of his beliefs so strongly that he agreed to go on a dangerous mission for George Washington. He was caught with sketches of British gun emplacements and the penalty for being a spy was to be hanged. As he marched up the steps of the gallows, he was proud to be an American and held his head high. When he turned to face the people before him, he declared boldly, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

Have we ever thought about the tremendous price these men paid for our freedom? Thomas Jefferson described what the patriots were fighting for as he wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

These men were willing to fight for unalienable rights, for their liberty, for their family, for peace and equality. The Continental Army consisted of farmers and merchants, untrained for battle. With feet wrapped with cloth for protection and poorly dressed, the patriots crossed the Delaware in a blizzard. They were outnumbered but George Washington knew this was the right choice, knowing the enemy would be weary after the Christmas festivities.

Undaunted, General Washington took his army across the Delaware. In the early hours of the morning, the surprise attack was a never-forgotten battle of victory that stunned the Hessians and British alike. Afterwards, a count was taken and not one patriot was killed. This great battle turned the war around. After eight long years, the patriots finally gained their liberty.

Be proud to be an American. The next time we look at our flag, remember the cost as you pledge your allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Without God’s help, we would never have won the war alone.

Samuel Smith wrote, “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing; Land where my father’s died, land of the pilgrims’ pride, from every mountainside let freedom ring! Our fathers’ God, to thee, author of liberty, to thee we sing; Long may our land be bright with freedom’s holy light. Protect us by thy might, Great God, our King!” What does freedom mean to you?


Virginia C said...

One of the personal freedoms that I appreciate the most is being able to walk out my door, get in my car, and drive wherever I want to go in the continental US. That's a great freedom, and this is a great country! I am very aware that all of my personal freedoms are possible due to the sacrifices of others who pioneered this land and have fought to keep it free. I have freedom of choice and freedom of speech, which many other people, especially women, do not have in this world. I am a small-town girl, and I always will be, but thanks to the internet, cable TV, mail delivery, and my telephone, I am connected to the whole wide world!

I have been through a lot of career ups and downs. I lost my job last November, and I am still unemployed. I live in a very small town with few job opportunities. I would love to be employed in a position which allowed me to promote literacy and put books in the hands of everyone who wants to read. We live in a PC and internet fueled world, but there are still many people in the United States struggling with literacy. That's why print books, newspapers, magazines and etc. are so vitally important. Not everyone is PC literate or has access to a computer or internet. Not everyone uses a cell phone, much less owns a multi-tasking "omni" cell phone! I started off in life as a bookworm, and the more complicated life became, the less time I had to read. The last few years, I have turned to books for comfort and to return to my roots. I think it is especially important for girls and women to have healthy self-esteem. Improving their reading skills opens up the world, and brings them all kinds of new opportunities...and freedoms!

I'd love to win a copy of "Edith and the Mysterious Stranger" : )

US Resident, Follower, Subscriber

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Christine H said...

I would love to win the second book in the series. Freedom, wow I am so into the flag and being an American. I'm so proud and lucky too! I do cry sometimes when thats sung. Especially if I'm at a game it's so moving!! I'm blessed for being an American and wouldn't want to live anywhere else!! Thanks for the giveaway!!
Also my husband takes care of the Flag we have for the front of our house. It makes us feel good when it's up.

Natalie W said...

Freedom to me is the ability to say what I want, do what I want. To be able to live where I want, eat what I want. So many people do not have that freedom but we do, the people of the USA!
I would love to enter the contest

Have a great week ---

RaNae said...

Hi, Linda, my mom just received Edith & the Mysterious Stranger from the Talking Book Library. She was thrilled.

Freedom, to me, is being able to live where I want & the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of my own conscience.

I would like to win the third book, Jenny's Dream.

karenk said...

freedom means living your dream...

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

baileythebookworm said...

To me, freedom is as simple as the ability to live my life the way I choose without interference. I'm very much of the "live and let live" camp. As long as I am not impinging on the rights of another human being, and as long as no one is interfering with my rights, I'm free. :)


Anonymous said...

I don't believe my original comments got through, because my Saudi censors blocked my remarks. NUFF SAID! (Edith)

Cassandra said...

I believe freedom is something we earn and as we earn it we can help others and do things to keep our country the way it is. freedom is such s beautiful thing.


Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Whoa! I guess I picked a bad time to have a book give-away. Apparently everyone is out celebrating Independence Day! The last time I had a book give-away for my family saga series, about 6 months ago, I had 44 people sign up. I didn't realize that summer would be so slow.

Cass said...

I think that freedom is being able to do something, and there is nothing that anyone can do to take that away from you. No strings attached, no boundaries.

Like I said in the e-mail, I read the preview chapter for the first book, and so I'd love to win that one.


Leah Orton said...

To me, freedom is within each of us. Every person who has fought for what they believe in has accessed that freedom and exercised that inalienable agency. It allows us to define ourselves as individuals as well as bring us together and make a difference. I try to support the efforts of our forefathers by actively participating in our country. Part of the happiness I'm pursuing is to be a woman who can get an education and voice my opinion and make a difference in this world. I am so grateful for the examples I've had around me and the opportunities put in front of me.


Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Independence Day means a lot to our family. Since we're celebrating the 4th of July, I decided to have 4 winners. So the winners for this contest are Natalie W, Karen K, Bailey the Bookworm, and Cass from Australia. Congratulations!