With many of my friends' husbands coming home from deployment this month, and many more (including my own) getting ready to leave later this year, Independence Day has a deeper meaning for me than in the past. As we sang our National Anthem this past Sunday, I pondered over those things that it stands for, the freedoms and blessings that I enjoy as a citizen of this country.
"Oh say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, ...."
The words to this precious song are rarely sung by my own mouth. For me the words usually go more like this:
Seven years of marching band, playing our national anthem at every home football game, many pep rallies, and other performances have ingrained this in my brain and muscle memory. It helps me to remember that the celebration of our freedoms and those things our nation is built upon is not just a celebration for a single day. It is something to be remembered every time we participate in any event, gathering, or church service.
I have also spent many years playing in community music groups, symphonies, bands, and church related groups. They have given me the opportunity to play for many occasions including national holidays, remembering our veterans and those who currently fight for our freedoms. I'm sure all of you will agree that words are very powerful and that writing is a great expression of the soul. For me, music speaks much louder than words. A great speaker may stir my soul, but music moves my soul. It brings tears to my eyes to sing, play, or hear these great works of music. I am grateful to have these great reminders each and every day of the blessed country I have to live in and be a part of. It gives me a great desire to take more part in the decisions that are made that will have lasting effects on our country's future.
Let us remember that this is a Promised land. Let us declare, shout, and sing our praises to God, and express our thanksgiving for a blessed nation, not just on the Fourth of July, but EVERY DAY.