Tag Archives: Star Spangled Banner

Flag Day

Everywhere I go in these United States I feel a little better when I see our flag on display. She really is a grand ole flag. It’s beautiful. It’s sharp. It’s symmetrical. It carries meaning. It demands respect as countless souls have battled just to see it wave yet another day. Our flag has been the star that thousands have wished upon while in some foreign land. Our flag has been, and still is, the sign of hope, the welcome sight representing opportunity. If only more Americans would live each day recognizing that opportunity. If each of us had gone to battle ‘neath her I dare say our resolve would be unwavering and our respect would only be measured by the sincere gratitude we would have for our way of life.

As I drive around with our two-year old twins, we look for American flags. They spot them before I do sometimes. They know our flag. They know stars. They know stripes. They too will respect and care for our flag.

Read the stories of why, where, and when Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner. Read the stories about our service men and women whose hopes and fears were directly relative to whether or not they could see our flag. Pause at least for a moment and take in the beauty of our flag. Pledge allegiance to the flag. Say the pledge and know what you mean when the words are spoken. I thoroughly enjoy Red Skelton’s version of our Pledge of Allegiance. I had to put this link and reference in here because this is language use and audible respect as it should be.

It’s Flag Day. Notice. Understand. Respect. Be thankful. Think outside of yourself and the world you occupy daily, and recognize the devotion and effort it has taken just so we could see this beautiful flag wave in all it’s freedom. Enjoy.

By Heart – from The Daily Post

Today’s prompt from WordPress bloggers caught my eye…You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?

Two songs came to mind this morning. The first was Seven Spanish Angels. The second song was our National Anthem.

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Remembering Veteran’s Day

This morning is Veteran’s Day. In Canada it’s Remembrance Day. In my home we are honoring, remembering, respecting, and we are thankful for our Veteran’s, past, present, and future.

I am home with my three youngest children this morning and I want them to know what this means, and why we remember. A few minutes ago, my son came into the office and asked if I had just heard Theodore yelling. I said I had. He asked me if I knew why he was yelling so loud. I did not. He shared with me that the Star Spangled Banner had come on the TV in the family room, and that Theodore, on his own, sang “…of the brave” as loud as he could to end the Anthem.

A minute later Theodore pulled up a rocking chair beside me, and in the presence of his older brother, twin sister and I; he demanded silence as he attempted to sing the National Anthem on his own. It was adorable as he repeated a few lines here and there that were combined with other lines, but he gave it his best shot. He also knew that all should be quiet while he sang the song.

Then I played Madison Rising’s version of the Star Spangled Banner (which we all love). We played it a few times. Jacqueline held a little rhythm and pretended to sing the words, and we all enjoyed it, together.

But, more importantly, we recognize that among the reasons we have a morning like this to enjoy at all, is because the greatest forces of men and women in the history of mankind have defended our freedoms and beliefs. They were the best, they are the best, they will be the best. Most of us truly don’t have a clue as to what these brave men and women have endured, braved, and walked towards even when every fiber of their being would tell them to run the other way. For them, for all of them, I, we, are thankful. I wouldn’t even want to imagine it another way.

Our military, our armed forces, these fellow countrymen and women continue to do what is asked of them, day after day. Right, wrong, agreed, or disagreed, they go. They take each and every day seriously, and assume nothing. They go. They train. They are there. There are here, now. They are the best, and they still walk in harm’s way everyday. This day is not just about a time long ago, it’s about all times. It’s about times we haven’t yet experienced. It’s about times we are fortunate enough to not have experienced. Today is as important now as it would have been at any other time, or at any other time to come. A friend of mine who is very close to our military, recently made a comment to me after attending three military funerals in one day, to the effect of, wishing people understood how much warring is still going on. I don’t know which affected me more, the commentary itself, or the fact that this person (and so many others) deals with this kind of thing more often than a lot of us stop to even think about our men and women serving.

It’s Veteran’s Day. It’s Remembrance Day. Please take this time seriously. Mean what you say. Say what you mean. Either way, always remember. Always respect. Always be thankful. We have so much to be thankful for.

I have included below, a poem that came to me two years ago. I know it’s not the best verse ever, but it’s tied to strong emotions. I really did wake up in the middle of the night with most of the words to this little poem. Obviously, these thoughts are never far from my mind. It’s not the first time I awoke in thought on these matters, nor has it been the last.

REMEMBER
Remember more often, remember with others aloud
Remember more than today, remember they should feel proud
 
Remember to thank them, remember that is for always
Remember to be respectful, remember not just holidays
 
Remember we have no idea, remember they have been there
Remember our freedoms; remember they walked where most don’t dare
 
Remember that there are triggers, remember they relive then
Remember we have a place, remember we can love, we’ve never been
 
Remember heroes, do remember; remember time spent is a prize
Remember we can help them; remember to look into their eyes
 
Remember they didn’t always know why, remember they went on call
Remember some disagreed; remember them, not one, but all
 
Remember how we live today; remember it could have been a different way
Remember our men and women, remember them, embrace them today
 
Remember that memories don’t end; remember we must pass this on
Remember those serving today; remember all, not just those who are gone
 
Remember every day, remember, certainly, on this Veteran’s Day
Remember our place; remember we’re thankful supporters in every way

Our National Anthem

It’s a cool, clear, crisp autumn morning and I temporarily lose the ability to discern depth by gazing deeper and deeper into the vastness of blue above me. In the background, I am listening to a loop of various renditions of our National Anthem. This version has become one of my personal favorites. Sometimes I sing the words, sometimes I hum a bit, and sometimes the emotion just makes my voice sound like an old rusty gate swinging in the breeze. I listen to the words. I listen to the passion pouring from the various performers. I think of the setting in which the songs’ words were penned. I try to wrap my head around the meaning of the various phrases throughout the song to so many people in so many places around the world. Imagine for a minute how many thousands, even millions of times, a person somewhere on this planet has been thrilled to the core that “our flag was still there”. It gives me chills. I love this country.

How many of you know all of the words to the verse that is sung daily all over this wonderful country? How often do you sing these inspired words? It’s a great song, a tough song to sing, and it’s OUR National Anthem. I love to sing it. I love to hear it. I love to think about it, and all that it represents. I sing it often with my 3-1/2-year-old twins. They like the song already. It is truly my favorite song. When I hear it on various radio stations at noon time or to begin, or even end their broadcast day, I always listen. Always.

As for today, I have started my morning with the words of my favorite song and the depths of my favorite color. God Bless the USA.

Proud to be an American

Sing the Anthem! Sing it to yourself. Sing it together. Sing it to your kids.

Our National Anthem is on my mind. It often is. I can always count on Chicago to take The Star Spangled Banner to another level, and they did it for Boston again last night. They get it. They always get it, just watch.

Desert Storm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvpxVE_kQXg

9/11 Tribute http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLvJrTwkNlk

Last night, for Boston http://video.blackhawks.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=239390&catid=-6

God Bless the United States of America

Never Forget

I am re-blogging this piece in remembrance of 9/11/01. I have added only this paragraph and have deleted nothing. Just the same sentiments in remembrance. The crisp, clear, clean, cool morning this morning reminds me very much of that fateful morning 11 years ago. 11 years ago today, heroes weren’t born, but rather emerged, as heroism was in so many who, through events beyond their control, were present and heroic when their fellow Americans needed them most. Never Forget.

This page is a place to more permanently keep this close at hand. On 9/11/11 I watched, I listened to, and read pieces on the 10 year remembrance of 9/11. I cried, I thought, I remembered, I swelled with pride, I felt a lot of emotions that day. That evening into the wee hours of the following morning I also wrote a piece in my style, my words, and I want it to be here, close at hand. There will be times when I will add to this page I am sure but this is where it starts for me. Never forget.

9/11 – Ten Years Later – God Bless the USA

Today, and every day really, I thank God that I was fortunate enough to be born and raised in the greatest country in the world. I am proud to be an American every day. Please God, continue to bless the USA, and may we honor and glorify you in all we do. There is goodness in all of us. We were created and born, morally aware. And, just as those who ran towards the unknown terror of 9/11 as to free those who needed help, so did our founding fathers brave the unknown in hopes of freedom for all. It’s the USA, “One Nation, under God”, made up of millions of people with tremendous resiliency, and free will to choose that we will not give up, while harboring a true responsibility to help one another (all of whom are created equal) in times of need. I feel, and I pray for those who lost loved ones or saw so much more than anyone should see 10 years ago today. May we never forget those who were innocently taken and those who have sacrificed so much.

I am in no way trying to be political here and I don’t always know where my thoughts may take me, so let’s find out. I pray that we, the USA (that’s each one of us), don’t lose sight of the spirit that was embraced in founding our great country. I hope that we don’t forget to fight for the freedoms that we have defended around the globe. We should be continually thankful for those who have literally battled on our behalf and knowingly risked the greatest asset; a human life, for their country, our country, the USA. We should be cognizant of our own behaviors that help pave the way for true freedom in the future and be wary of those self indulgences that provoke others to restrict our freedoms with red tape and political correctness. This country was founded on right and wrong, and there is nothing political about that which is right. Right is right. Right is morally justified, while politically correct is often times a choice to act in a manner that gets a desired outcome. If the desired outcome is not right than why be politically correct?

It was December of 1967 when my dad and mom drove over the border from Canada back into the USA just so I could be born in the USA. That may not mean as much now as it did then, but I am awfully proud to have been born in the United States of America. I love Canada dearly and cherish my Canadian family who are some of the greatest people I have ever met. Still, I thank you dad and mom for making that run to Caribou, Maine, USA, right before Christmas, on my behalf.

My favorite combination of colors is truly the red, white, and blue. My favorite song is “The Star Spangled Banner”. Our National Anthem being sung at various events and venues is the television I record most often. I get goose bumps every single time I hear it. I think of the words and the inspiration behind them in a time of uncertainty. Those words will be 197 years old this week, and I think of how many times those words have meant so much too so many people. Climatically our anthem gets to “Our flag was still there” and I think of our resiliency, I think of our free will and am reminded to be so careful with this precious gift. I truly do think of us as the land of the free and the home of the brave. This week I again connect this to 9/11 as there has been, and hopefully always will be an American flag flying at Ground Zero. I will also never forget those who were technically free to run, as thousands did, but instead, instinctively were brave as so many before them have been.

I offer a closing prayer for those who care to read it. With my head bowed, I thank you God for this great country of ours, and for the thousands upon thousands of brave men and women who have given their all to maintain our freedom and our independence. I pray that we don’t forget the sacrifices and struggles past and present, allowing our quality of life to be what it can be today. We have so very much to be thankful for. In a time when we seem to measure our life’s success by things we have accumulated, money we earn, or status we have attained; may we truly cherish the choices we have, the freedoms we share, and the right to put God and our families first. I pray that each of us make the time and the commitment to love and fellowship with friends and family. At the end of our days, it’s our family who will be there with us. The recollection of the choices we were able to make will ease our hearts and minds when our days here are short. It will be the freedoms we embraced, the risks we were willing and able to take, and the free will to forgive and make that which is wrong, right that will allow a smile on our lips as we breathe for the last time. Lord, I pray we wait not, for those days to think on these things, but to actively pursue them with all that we are, and all we can be. We know not what the future holds for any of us. Let us not be caught up in that uncertainty, but have faith in You, and the tremendous power we possess to be present now. May we serve you Lord each day, knowing that the time we invest in one another is truly what makes the world go round. Lord I thank you for your many blessings as there are too many to count. Our days are full of blessings that we often times don’t even take the time to notice or thank you for. Forgive us for our sins and may we learn from our mistakes, in doing so, setting an example for others to follow so that we all may be better off for it. Lord, I ask these things in your name. Amen.