Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Heav'n Rescued Land

 Over the past few years, I have made blogging something of a tradition on the 4th of July.  So this year, I've decided to do something a little different and share several excerpts from a few different sources that explain what being an American means to me.

Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 
- 3rd verse of The Star-Spangled Banner  

"Religious sentiment progressed as the war continued and many colonists claimed that they could see the hand of God guiding the direction of the war.  In one case, American sailors desperately needed a specific lantern that was unavailable in the colonies.  Miraculously, they were able to capture a cruiser that happened to have the exact kind of lantern they needed.  The Constitutional Gazette said of the event, 'The Lord hath done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.'  In another instance, the Continental Army was trying to build defenses on Dorchester Heights in Boston.  The soldiers believed that God provided the necessary moonlight above them so that the soldiers could work quickly and the necessary haze below them so that they could take the high ground of Boston without being seen by the British.  Even General Howe, the British commander, said, 'These fellows have done more work in one night than I could make my army do in three months.'  The event frustrated the enemy and was seen as a true miracle by the colonists and clergyman alike.  As William Billings wrote in one of his popular war songs, many colonists were convinced that 'God inspir'd them for the fight' and would not let them fail."
- an excerpt from my History 200 paper God is On Our Side:
The Religious Motivations Behind the American Revolution

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness...We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
- excerpt from The Declaration of Independence

"No man has to bow, no man born to royalty.  Here we judge you by what you do, not by who your father was.  Here you can be something.  Here is the place to build a home.  But it's not the land.  There's always more land.  It's the idea that we all have value -- you and me.  What we're fighting for, in the end, we're fighting for each other."
- Col. Chamberlain's speech from the movie Gettysburg

I was able to watch the 4th of July parade this year.  Since the parade comes right down University Avenue, we set a blanket just outside our apartment yesterday and saved a spot on the lawn.
We played Yahtzee out on our blanket on the night of July 3rd before we headed inside to sleep.

We could see hot-air balloons before the parade started.

The float for Miss Provo.

The minutemen!

Patriotic Olympic float.

The float for the city of Lehi.

The missionaries of the Utah Provo Mission joined the parade.  They got a standing ovation (and a ton of candy thrown at them).

The color guard of one of the local high schools.

1 comment:

Brigitte said...

I want to throw candy at missionaries! (I just want an excuse to pelt SOMEONE, for no real reason either. I'm not violent).