This week celebrated the 4th of July here in America. It is the day we recognize as the birthday of our country. This year, in 2021, we will be 245 years old. We have had our ups and downs, our wars (both domestic and foreign), our political differences and our financial and economic challenges, but we are still around!
I understand this Tip goes around the world each week, so I encourage those of you who live in other countries to be just as proud of your own country as we are here in America.
When I was in high school, I had to learn a poem called, I Am the Nation. Recently I was going through a box of old memorabilia, and I came across this story/poem. Although I do not remember it word for word, it certainly came back to me quickly as I was reading the old 4 x 6 cards that it was typed out on in 1966, my senior year in high school. The cards have turned yellow with age, but the truth found in the words of the story are as current today as they were when I was in high school.
I was interested and amused that a few of the numbers had changed concerning the number of Americans, the number of farms, the number of schools and colleges, and the number of churches. To be current and accurate, I have updated those numbers for your convenience.
Regardless of your view of your country, I think it is important to be grateful and proud that you are a citizen. Because this week is the week, we are celebrating the birthday of our country, I wanted to share this story/poem with you because it means so much to me.
I AM THE NATION
I was born on July 4, 1776, and the Declaration of Independence is my birth certificate. The blood lines of the world run in my veins because I offered freedom to the oppressed. I am many things, and many people. I am the nation.
I am 332 million living souls – and the ghost of millions who have lived and died for me.
I am Nathan Hale and Paul Revere. I stood at Lexington and fired the shot heard around the world. I am Washington, Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. I am John Paul Jones, the Green Mountain Boys and Davy Crockett. I am Lee and Grant and Abe Lincoln.
I remember the Alamo, the Maine, and Pearl Harbor. When freedom called, I answered and stayed until it was over, over there. I left my heroic dead in Flanders Fields, on the rock of Corregidor, on the bleak slopes of Korea, and in the steaming jungle of Vietnam.
I am the Brooklyn Bridge, the wheat lands of Kansas and the granite hills of Vermont. I am the coalfields of the Virginias and Pennsylvania, the fertile lands of the West, the Golden Gate and the Grand Canyon. I am Independence Hall, the Monitor and the Merrimac.
I am big. I sprawl from the Atlantic to the Pacific…my arms reach out to embrace Alaska and Hawaii…3 million square miles throbbing with industry. I am more than 2 million farms. I am forest, field, mountain, and desert. I am quiet villages – and cities that never sleep.
You can look at me and see Ben Franklin walking down the streets of Philadelphia with his bread loaf under his arm. You can see Betsy Ross with her needle. You can see the lights of Christmas and hear the strains of “Auld Lang Syne” as the calendar turns.
I am Babe Ruth and the World Series. I am 130,000 schools and colleges, and 320,000 churches where my people worship God as they think best. I am a ballot dropped in a box, the roar of a crowd in a stadium and the voice of a choir in a cathedral. I am an editorial in a newspaper and a letter to a Congressman.
I am Eli Whitney and Stephen Foster. I am Tom Edison, Albert Einstein, and Billy Graham. I am Horace Greeley, Will Rogers, and the Wright brothers. I am George Washington Carver, Daniel Webster, and Jonas Salk.
I am Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Walt Whitman, and Thomas Paine.
Yes, I am the nation, and these are the things that I am. I was conceived in freedom and, God willing, in freedom I will spend the rest of my days.
May I always possess the integrity, the courage and the strength to keep myself unshackled, to remain a citadel of freedom and a beacon of hope to the world.
This is my wish, my goal, my prayer in this year of 2021 – two hundred and forty-five years after I was born.
I hope you enjoyed that reading and I hope you are proud of your country. Regardless of where you live, your country is not perfect, but you and I need to do all we can to make it better every day of our lives. After all…it is your country!
Tip: Love your country!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm