Wednesday, July 04, 2007
God Bless the USA
And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me.
And I won’t forget the men and ladies who are fighting now to give that right to me. Nor the families who have been left behind whose sacrifices are as much as their family member who is deployed.
May it be known that I am very proud to be an American on this 4th of July. And I don’t think I have ever been reminded of it more than I was last night when I attended the Independence Day Concert and Celebration with some of my family and about 10,000 other folks at McConnell-Talbert Stadium in Warner Robins, GA.
I can tell you there were more than a few chill bump moments.
The first came when the F-15 Fighter Jet flew over in perfect timing after the last note of the Star Spangled Banner. I was overwhelmed with the thought of how powerful our nation really is as the pilot put on the afterburners and took the jet to 6000 feet before you could blink an eye. We are a nation of strength and we are free because of it. We should never retreat from any who are a threat to that freedom.
The second came when I watched the big screen as family members in the audience of soldiers deployed were interviewed. I saw and heard a lot of comments such as “I miss you daddy. Hurry home daddy. Please be safe.” I was almost overcome with the sacrifices these folks make.
Another chill bump moment came when I slow danced with my 5 ½ month old granddaughter as Lee Greenwood sang “Georgia on My Mind.”
Still in peaceful dreams I see the road leads back to you.
No peace-no peace I find
Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind.
The simple truth is - for me Georgia is home. It’s where I have all my roots and where I have enjoyed the freedoms the heroes of our country have afforded me. Little Taylor represents all of that. She represents a new generation with an incredible heritage. And I had tears in my eyes as we danced our first ever dance under the stars last night.
Another moment came when Lee Greenwood began signing "God Bless America." Everybody in the stadium stood on their feet at the first note. I was reminded that I was in a crowd of people who understood that if God doesn’t guide us and bless us we will be in a terrible mess – despite our strength.
God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.
And then when Lee Greenwood ended the concert with his most popular and inspiring song, "God Bless the USA." I guess you would have had to just been there.
If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.
And then the incredible fireworks show began. With patriotic music in the background all I could do was sit back and try to take it all in. And I don’t mind telling you that this big ole boy had tears in his eyes as he watched the awesome display.
I hope you are enjoying and celebrating your Fourth of July holiday with whomever you have chosen to celebrate. You should. We have great freedom in our nation. But we should never forget that the freedom we enjoy comes with great price.
God bless the USA.