My Country ‘Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty, Of Thee I Sing
Another summer, another 4th of July. The holiday to celebrate our country’s birthday. The holiday to celebrate our love for our country.
As a child, the 4th of July was all about fireworks, BBQs, and time with family and friends. My parent’s neighborhood always had a parade and my brother, and I would dress up our bikes for the occasion. We would grab a bucket of fried chicken and go somewhere to watch the fireworks.
As an adult, I have tried to recreate so much of that with my children. These days we live in a military town. We don’t even have to go anywhere to see the fireworks show, going out to our backyard with a chair works well. And as the holiday gets closer, I can’t help but think of one of my favorite patriotic songs from the time I was a little girl, My Country Tis of Thee.
My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From ev’ry mountainside
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 thrills,
Like that above.
I can remember learning the lyrics to this song when I was about four years old. This song, which spoke so strongly of our country, reminds us of who we are and where we came from.
In today’s world, there seems to be this idea that you can only be patriotic if you belong to a certain political party, and that simply isn’t true. So many of us, no matter how we vote, love our country deeply. We want the best for her. We want her to succeed. We want her to be the best that she can be.
This fourth of July I can’t help but think about all of our military families.
Those who have just started this journey and those who are getting close to retirement. Those that have been injured, and the families that mourn those who never came home. Those who are home this year, and those currently going through a deployment.
I think about all the people of this country, from the beaches of Florida to the mountains of Colorado. From the coastal villages of New England to the beach cities in Southern California. From those deep in the heart of Texas to those in the deep wilderness of Alaska.
I think of the people who came here from all over the world. From those who came to be able to worship who they want, to those who wanted to protect their children from a more dangerous world.
There are so many different ways to be an American, so many different paths we can take.
As we focus on America’s Independence Day this year, we can remember the good and the bad. We can look ahead to how we can improve, and look back at the ways we have made life better for others. We can think about our little corner of the country, and extend grace to others who may be living life differently than we are.
As a military spouse, I have such a special place in my heart for all things America. The 4th of July is a time to celebrate what is good about our country, and what those in the past have done over the years, to ensure our freedom. It can also be a time to reflect on what we can do better and to learn from mistakes we have made in the past.
We can remember those we have personally lost and those who died for America, years before we were born. We can look to the people making a difference today, and think back to those who made a difference in the past.
How do you like to celebrate the 4th of July?
My country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing