Happy Independence Day!

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[P]atriotism… is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.  ~Adlai Stevenson
As we celebrate our nation’s independence today, our family will hold in our thoughts and prayers all of those who have fought to ensure our freedoms, far too many of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice in their dedication to our country.  We’ve spent several July 4th’s separated by deployment, and my heart is with those separated by deployment this year.

That’s not to say we won’t have a festive Fourth…it’ll be filled with fun, family, and fireworks…and of course, food…maybe we’ll even throw in a parade for good measure. I hope you and yours have a happy and safe Independence Day.

“America the Beautiful” is my favorite patriotic song, and here are my three favorite verses from it. You’re free to hum along as you read it…so exercise your freedoms!

America the Beautiful

Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
Melody by Samuel Ward
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

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