Tuesday, July 1, 2008

America the Beautiful

Happy 4th of July everyone! I am standing by a giant flag (after swimming) we had hanging year round off the deck at Ridgecrest Dr. We always have a flag or two up wherever we live - year round - not just on the 4th. We are very patriotic and love our country and appreciate those who have sacrificed for all of us. A few years ago we were attending a retreat in Colorado and had the chance to ride a clog train up to Pikes Peak elevation 14,100 feet where Katherine Lee Bates was moved to write the words to the song "America the Beautiful" in 1893, after having traveled to the top of Pikes Peak on a carriage ride. It was an awesome ride to the top and when you got there it was even more beautiful and inspiring. I remember it was hard to hear and felt like we had cotton in our ears and everything felt like it was in slow motion due to the lack of oxygen. It was an awesome experience.

















We had our picture taken by the monument for Katharine Lee Bates & America the Beautiful but I can't locate it at this time so I will just end this post with the words to this beautiful hymn.


















America the Beautiful

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 pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife.
Who more than self the 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!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America ! America !
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

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
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

- Katharine Lee Bates

~from her diary
"One day some of the other teachers and I decided to go on a trip to 14,000-foot Pikes Peak. We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse."

3 comments:

jayna said...

Happy late anniversary guys! We're so glad to have you as an example in our married life!

You look so cute Mom by the flag! Tyler thinks you look 20...

Crandall Family said...

Have I told Tyler lately that I LOVE him?!

Tiffany Bindel said...

I love your patriotic post! Those are the CUTEST Anniversary picts ever. You just reminded me that I forgot to post on our anniversary... I will get on that!