Making a Difference

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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 heroes proved

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country love

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!

What a beautiful picture that great hymn describes! This is perhaps, my favorite of all our patriotic songs. But, it is that second verse in there that really brings me to tears.

“Who more than self their country love, and mercy more than life!” That is such a true description of the history of our country.

I have been going through some old scrapbooks and there are those pictures from WWII of men who went off to war and never came home. There are those fuzzy pictures taken from during the war. These heroes truly exemplified that they did love their country more than their own lives. They were willing to lay down their lives for this great nation that we have today.

Certainly, things today are quite different than the country those folks came home to after battle. They might not be too pleased with the course we have taken in some areas. But I still believe they would do it again. I believe they would, to a man, go back over and fight for our rights and our freedoms, as well as those of other nations across our world.

I also believe that we have to start making a stronger stand, as Americans, and as Christians for those beliefs we hold dear. The history, both good and bad, that built us. The battles. The loss of life. The conflict. The victories. The heartbreaks. The joys. These are the things that built our nation and we cannot let them be erased.

We learn from our past mistakes and if we erase our past, from what will we learn?

It is time for us once again, to stand as a nation. A great nation. And be strong in our values and be strong in our convictions. Stand up for what we know to be right, no matter the cost.

These are the very things that the folks in our young fledgling country believed and that is why we are a nation today. It is not always easy. Easy was never promised. But doing the right thing is always right.

As we come to the birthday of this great nation. Never forget those men and women who did “More than self their country love, and mercy more than life!” Celebrate those who stood strong, and live a life that will cause you to be counted among those who have stood strong. If not you, then who?

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Amen and Amen.

America. It makes a difference.

By Gina Caswell Kelly

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