My Country ‘Tis of Thee

Happy 4th of July!

On this Independence Day weekend my thoughts turn again to the freedom bought in blood by my countrymen.  I am the beneficiary of past and present patriotism, men and women who valued freedom enough to lay down their lives to insure theirs and future generations would be free.  I think of those who courageously declared for themselves and a fledgling nation our independence by signing their names and pledging their lives and property to the cause of freedom.  I think of those who left to fight on foreign shores and never returned…I think of their families.  Families that have felt the cost of our freedom more acutely than I.  I think of those who upon surviving the battle  carry wounds of  body and the heart.  Those in private anguish that I could never understand.  These are heavy thoughts but essential thoughts. I will never appreciate fully the value of freedom until I understand the cost.  I have never served my country as a soldier and I may never be asked to lay down my life for the cause of liberty but God help me to value it as I should and grant me the courage that I too will stand for the cause of freedom on these shores and abroad.  I have, by the gracious providence of God, been born as a free American son.  By His graciousness and the Cross of Christ, I’ve been reborn as a child of God.  God help me to squander neither Liberty purchased by blood not my own.

My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim’s pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love.
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture fills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song.
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our father’s 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!

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