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America the Beautiful

God Bless America

Source: Wikipedia

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In 1893 an English school teacher, Katherine Lee Bates from Wellesley College in Massachusetts decided to take a summer teaching job at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO. Her long journey by rail would take her across the heartland of America stopping finally at the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs. After admiring the view from atop Pike’s Peak, the 14,115 ft mountain that sits immediately west of the city overlooking it, Bates was inspired to write a poem about what she had seen during her journey. The poem was later put to music and would become one of our countries most memorable songs. Subsequent to the song’s popularity there have been numerous petitions to make it our country’s National Anthem. Its moving lyrics and ease of singing provide good arguments for their case.

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 pilgrim feet

Whose stern, impassioned stress

A thoroughfare for freedom beat

Across the wilderness!

America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw;

Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!

O beautiful, for heroes proved

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved

And mercy more than life!

America! America! May God thy gold refine,

Till all success be nobleness, and ev’ry 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!

Lyrics Source: Pikes Peak.us.com

To anyone who has not taken the journey across America you owe it to yourself to add it to your bucket list. I think America’s size, scope and her rich history cannot be fully appreciated until one has traveled by car or train across America. I have had the privilege of traveling all over America, from Maine to the Florida Keys, and from New York and places in New England to the southern-most borders of California.  The fruited plains and amber waves of grain do exist and are not just exaggerations. From where I write this today I can see Pike’s Peak. On clear early mornings, when the sun shines just right, you can truly see the purple mountain’s majesty. It is a sight to behold and a reminder to be thankful we live in such a great country blessed with beauty and abundance.

Embed from Getty Images

 

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