Monday, June 14, 2010

Old Glory

Today is Flag Day; a day to honor the symbol of our freedom.
I love our flag and a get a catch in my throat during the Processional, whenever the flag is brought out.

I’ll not bore you with my heartfelt feelings for the flag; instead I thought I’d give you some quotes and thoughts from others through the generations. They’re in no particular order, but I’ve loved each.

Each piece is left with the original punctuation-you have no idea how I long to fix the punctuation!

“O Beautiful Banner”
Concord Song from "A Book of Songs," 1924
Homer H. Harbour and Birdsall Otis Edey

O beautiful banner all splendid with stars,
That in the breeze is flying,
Proud emblem of the free!
My heart and hand salute you,
Dear flag of liberty.
From ocean to ocean you brighten our land,
O'er prairie, forest, mountain,
Superb against the sky.
Oh flag for which men labor!
Oh flag for which men die!

“It was God Almighty w ho nailed our flat to the flagstaff, and I could not have lowered it if I had tried.”
Major Robert Anderson

“One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation evermore.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes

“In all the world there is not such another flag, that carries within nit’s emanations of hope, as our dear old American flag, made by, and for liberty, nourished in its spirit and carried in its service; it’s priceless value cannot be estimated, wherever our flag has gone, it has been the herald of a better day; it has been the pledge of freedom, justice, order, civilization and of Christianity.”
J. C. J. Langbien

“Twine close around your hearts each thread of our country’s flag, that dear old flag which has so often led us to victory. Its stars and stripes have waved in triumph from the snow of Canada to the burning sands of the Gulf, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific shores. They have waved over the halls of Montezuma’s and over every portion of the great seas, leading the brave and the free to victory and glory. They waved over our cradles, and let us ever pray that they may wave over our graves.
“What lessons we may read in our country’s emblem. Its white teaches us of purity of purpose; its red typifies the blood which has so often and freely been shed in its defense; and its blue, with its constellation, reminds us of the starry canopy of heaven, behind which is the eternal camping ground, where the pure and good, when discharged from service here, are mustered into the mighty army of the saints which guards the throne of the Most High God.”
R.S. Robertson, Fort Wayne, IN

“Today the flag of our country floats over a land undivided, a Union saved, a government vindicated, a people free. As it waves above us in the calm atmosphere of peace, it seems transfigured by the mighty deeds that shed upon it unfading glory, and clothe it with an influence that shall one day loose the bands of despotism in other lands than ours, and open the gates of power throughout the world to the triumphant march of human freedom.
J.M. Craveth, Lansing, MI

I wasn’t going to include “The Star Spangled Banner”, because I believe you all know it; however I recently heard someone sing the fourth verse, and I was moved to more tears, and felt it needed to be shared.

The Star Spangled Banner
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

I leave you with a piece by Johnny Cash that I love:

That Ragged Old Flag

May God continue to bless America.

1 comment:

mommyx12 said...

The words to The Star Spangled Banner certainly says a lot doesn't it. I know what you mean about how sad it is when one takes the words to heart.