Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Country, 'Tis Of Thee

This is the first patriotic song I learned.  I was 6 years old, in the 1st grade, and singing this song made my little red, white and blue heart swell with an emotion I couldn't put a name on.  It is still my favorite and I wasn't above singing it as a nursery song to my babies.  All morning I've been thinking of the words.

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!

At six years old, I understood that fathers did die, that bad things did happen, that life wasn't all Saturday morning cartoons, but this song made me feel pride and hope.  It still does.

Today marks eleven years since 9/11.  That morning and all the events that dominoed to our life, our little four person family life, are still crystal clear, down to the feel of the carpet as I sat on the floor watching TV, stunned and.....just stunned.  I've written remembering posts before, here, here, and here.

This morning, the fifth verse of my favorite song seems very appropriate.  Granted, it was written for Washington's Centennial (the president not the state) but I like the words so much, I will carry them in my heart today.

Our joyful hearts today,
Their grateful tribute pay,
Happy and free,
After our toil and fears,
After our blood and tears,
Strong with our hundred years,
O God, to Thee.

Bad, terrible, horrific things happen, but I thank God for the spirit of life He gives, that keeps us going, on and beyond.  I have moved on and beyond, but I will not forget.  I thank God for that too.