I Love This Land

How I love Lee Greenwood’s wonderful song, “God Bless the USA”.  Good lyrics always stir my soul.  Although I have a hard time remembering names or the price for a gallon of milk… I’ve always been able to hear a song once or twice, then have the words tucked away in my memory.

I vividly remember hearing this song when it first came out in the 80s.  On the 4th of July I was driving home from the grocery store in Portales, a few fireworks were going off here and there… people at their homes… and this song came on the radio.  “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 with patriotic tears streaming down my face, I drove down the road singing at the top of my lungs.

A few years later I was living in the Caribbean, and home on a summer vacation.  The people of Eastern New Mexico and West Texas may be the friendliest on earth.  They are at least in the competition!  I truly remember getting a lump in my throat just hearing a young girl at a fast food place, big smile on her face, saying “What can I get y’all?”  Y’all!  Music to my ears!  They don’t say “y’all” in the Virgin Islands.

And that same week we went to one of those traveling musical variety shows.  (My local readers… you can picture it… Marshall Junior High Auditorium in Clovis.)  It was a red, white and blue extravaganza.  Great country music, fun singing and dancing.  And then a man sang this song.  And spontaneously, the audience began to stand.  And those cowboy hats that had been held in the laps of their owners were placed over their hearts.  And the packed house stood there while those grand lyrics were sung…

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee, across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea…

The flag still stands for freedom…

There ain’t no doubt, I love this land!  God Bless the USA!

If I went to that same concert today, I’d still cry when those hats went over the hearts as the people stood in respect.  I’m tearing up just remembering it.  But that evening was magical for this homesick girl who was back home on the plains, surrounded by people with that twang in their speech, and those blue jeans and those hats, and that song… I’ll never forget it.

Happy Independence Day!

One Response to “I Love This Land”

  1. lawanda calton says:

    Oh my….you do carry on so! And now I’m wiping tears from my eyes, too! Yes…..we love the USA! And thank you for touching me deeply this morning!

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