Over the last few days I've had the chance to participate in commemorative services reflecting on this nation. On two occasions, (one at a patriotic concert of All-American composers, and the other at Sacrament Meeting last Sunday) the audience stood and sang all verses of The Star-Spangled Banner. Now, I like many have problems singing the anthem as it is because it's range is well beyond my meager singing abilities and the lyrics don't always match up well with the notes, if you know what I mean...
I don't know what it is about the last verse, but every time I hear it sung or sing it, my voice starts trembling and I break up like a blubbering little baby and tears flow from my eyes... and I don't even know why. I looked around the audiences both times and I seemed to be the only one crying. What's wrong with me? Am I being overly sensitive? Is this a spiritual thing? Have I been duped by inculcated teachings of fabricated patriotism?
Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace may the heaven rescued land
Praise the Power 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!
I'm not very political and tend to keep such feelings to myself, but I ask that we pause for a moment and contemplate the words and meaning of this last verse! For whatever reason, I feel a great power and strength from these words.
Happy Independence Day!