As I drove by the Utah State Capitol last evening I was able to capture a stunning sunset on my iPhone. I sat there until the sun subsided and felt an overwhelming love for the beautiful setting I was witnessing and our freedom which we are celebrating this week. I am most grateful for the land of liberty and those who fought to keep America free. I was born patriotic and love America the beautiful. I am so happy to honor those who love America so much that they were willing to fight for our freedom today and in the past.
I taught singing to children from age 18 months to 12 years in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for more than 15 years. I loved teaching the children patriotic songs. We would march around the room with vim and vigor as we sang at the tops of lungs as we would wave American flags. One of the songs we would sing was “I Love My Land America,” author unknown, arranged by Hillary Abplanalp. The lyrics are below.
I love my land America with blue skies big and wide;
I love my land America with seas on either side
The prairie corn grows tall and green,
The wheat is amber gold:
The rivers run from mountain peaks where the stars and stripes unfold.
I love my land America, and as long as we are good,
The Lord will bless America in love and brotherhood.
Can’t you picture the scenes of America as they are described in the song?
One of my favorite patriotic songs is The Battle Hymn of the Republic which was written as a poem by Julia Ward Howe in February 1862.
Below is an excerpt from the webpage where I found some information for this post:
Here is “Battle Hymn of the Republic” as written by Julia Ward Howe when she published it in February, 1862, in the Atlantic Monthly:
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.
I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me:
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
I was in the Jay Welch Chorale in the mid 1970’s. I always got emotional when we sang, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Next Sunday our ward choir will be singing this beloved song. Enjoy the beautiful rendition of the song by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and have a blessed and safe fourth of July 2014.