Happy Birthday America!
We celebrate ten National Holidays annually in our country, and three of those ten honor the involvement of the men and women that have served honorably in our Armed Forces. Independence Day is certainly one of those holidays. The many battles of the Revolutionary War serve as a reminder of the bravery and sacrifices that were made in order to gain our freedom and independence as a nation.
In 1893 Katherine Lee Bates stood atop Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado and was inspired to write a poem in honor of our beautiful country. Her poem speaks not only about our nations beauty, but also honors the soldiers that fought for their newly formed nation and those who have followed in their footsteps. In verse three she remembers those who have answered the call by writing, “O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!”
The reason that I personally associate her poem with our annual 4th of July celebration is because her poem, and it’s subsequent song that we all love and recognize as America the Beautiful, was originally published in her church periodical “The Congregational” on July the 4th, 1895.
Whether you choose to celebrate the 4th of July with a family picnic, attending your hometown parade, or taking in an evening fireworks display, please pause and remember our soldiers, sailors and airmen, because they are the reason that we are all still able to celebrate our freedom and independence.
May all of you have a safe and enjoyable Independence Day celebration with your family and friends.
Henry (Buddy) Gillam
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