Aggregator • Wake up America • ID=79313
Originally Published January 2007, republished for Independence Day 2012.
By Susan Duclos
When I was a child I never missed a chance to sing along with our national anthem as well as a few other songs. My singing could and still can make dogs howl and people run, but I simply could not and still cannot resist singing along.
I have always been proud to be an American. I have never thought that someone from another country is any "less" than I am simply because they were from a different place, but I feel pride as an American because America has always been a nation of freedom, a nation that helped other countries in need.
A country to be proud of.
Are you proud to be an American?
It seems to be a silly question, but I find it is one that is important in todays world. Many of our own citizens show nothing but disdain for America, what it has always stood for and what it has always been. They continually wish to change our values that America was founded on.
It is a simple question......can you answer it with a yes or no, or does your answer include a "but" at the end?
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd 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 preserv'd us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause 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!
Do you still feel pride when you hear this song...in reading it, do you put it to music in your head? Have you ever really looked at the words and understood their meaning?
On Sept. 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key visited the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay to secure the release of Dr. William Beanes, who had been captured after the burning of Washington, DC. The release was secured, but Key was detained on ship overnight during the shelling of Fort McHenry, one of the forts defending Baltimore. In the morning, he was so delighted to see the American flag still flying over the fort that he began a poem to commemorate the occasion. First published under the title 'Defense of Fort M'Henry,' the poem soon attained wide popularity as sung to the tune 'To Anacreon in Heaven.' The origin of this tune is obscure, but it may have been written by John Stafford Smith, a British composer born in 1750. 'The Star-Spangled Banner' was officially made the national anthem by Congress in 1931, although it already had been adopted as such by the army and the navy.
Do you still stand proud every time you see the American flag? Have you ever? These are questions that are easy to ask yourself, but may not be so easy for some to answer honestly.
The first inclination would be to say YES, immediately.....but given time to think before answering, would you say yes and mean it with no "buts" at the end??
You do not have to share your answer, but at least have the self honesty to answer it truthfully to YOURSELF.
God Bless America:
"While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. "
God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.
The Statue of Liberty is yet another monument that always filled me with pride. I have been there many times and it never fails to make me smile.
Land of the Free.
The statue depicts a woman, standing upright, dressed in a flowing robe and a seven point spiked crown representing the Seven Seas, holding a stone tablet close to her body in her left hand and a flaming torch high in her right hand. The statue is made of pure copper on a framework of steel (originally puddled iron) with the exception of the flame of the torch, which is coated in gold leaf. It stands atop a rectangular stonework pedestal, itself on an irregular eleven-pointed star foundation. The statue is 151 feet and one inch tall, with the foundation adding another 154 feet. The tablet contains the text "JULY IV MDCCLXXVI" (July 4, 1776) commemorating the date of the United States Declaration of Independence. The interior of the pedestal contains a bronze plaque inscribed with the poem "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus. (It has never been engraved on the exterior of the pedestal, despite such depictions in editorial cartoons).
The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the U.S. worldwide, and, in a more general sense, represents liberty and escape from oppression. The Statue of Liberty was, from 1886 until the jet age, often one of the first glimpses of the United States for millions of immigrants after ocean voyages from Europe. In terms of visual impact, the Statue of Liberty appears to draw inspiration from il Sancarlone or the Colossus of Rhodes. The statue is a central part of Statue of Liberty National Monument and is administered by the National Park Service.
It has taken me ALL day, help from a great group of people and a massive headache to find this. I remember as a kid, listening to it and understanding that the narrator was pissed off on behalf of America. He was offended FOR America and he wanted the world to know it.
On June 5, 1973,Gordon Sinclair sat up in bed in Toronto and turned on his TV set. The United States had just pulled out of the Vietnamese War which had ended in a stalemate - a war fought daily on TV, over the radio and in the press. The aftermath of that war resulted in a world-wide sell-off of American investments, prices tumbled, the United States economy was in trouble. The war had also divided the American people, and at home and abroad it seemed everyone was lambasting the United States.
He turned on his radio, twisted the dial and turned it off. He picked up the morning paper. In print, he saw in headlines what he had found on TV and radio - the Americans were taking a verbal beating from nations around the world. Disgusted with what he saw and heard, he was outraged!
At 10:30, on his arrival at CFRB to prepare his two pre-noon broadcasts, he strode into his office and "dashed-off" two pages in 20 minutes for LET'S BE PERSONAL at 11:45 am, and then turned to writing his 11:50 newscast that was to follow. At 12:01 pm, the script for LET'S BE PERSONAL was dropped on the desk of his secretary who scanned the pages for a suitable heading and then wrote "Americans"" across the top and filed it away. The phones were already ringing.
Gordon Sinclair could not have written a book that could have had a greater impact in the world than his two-page script for THE AMERICANS. A book should have been written on the events that followed. But, no one at CFRB, including Sinclair himself, could have envisioned the reaction of the people of the United States - from presidents - state governors - Congress - the Senate - all media including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines - and from the "ordinary" American on the street. Nor, could have the Canadian government - stunned by the response to what has come to be regarded as one of Canada's greatest public relations feats in the history of our relations with the United States of America.
But, how did Sinclair's tribute to Americans reach them? It had been swept across the United States at the speed of a prairie fire by American radio stations - first, a station in Buffalo called and asked to be fed a tape copy of the broadcast with permission to use - both freely given. Nearby American stations obtained copies from Buffalo or called direct. By the time it reached the Washington, DC area, a station had superimposed Sinc's broadcast over an instrumental version of BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER, and was repeating it at fixed times several times-a-day.
Congressmen and Senators heard it. It was read several times into the Congressional Record. Assuming that it was on a phono (33 1/3 rpm), Americans started a search for a copy. CFRB was contacted. To satisfy the demand, CFRB started to make arrangements with AVCO, an American record company, to manufacture and distribute it as a "single".
As they were finalizing a contract that would see all royalties which would normally be due Gordon Sinclair be paid (at his request) to the American Red Cross. Word was received that an unauthorized record, using Sinclair's script but read by another broadcaster, was already flooding the US market. (Subsequently, on learning that this broadcaster had agreed to turn over his royalties to the Red Cross, no legal action was taken).
Sinclair's recording of his own work (to which Avco had added a stirring rendition of THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC) did finally reach record stores, and sold hundreds of thousands of copies, but the potential numbers were depressed by the sale of the infringing record. Other record producers and performers (including Tex Ritter) obtained legal permission to make their own versions. In Ritter's case, because of the first-person style of the script, Tex preceded his performance with a proper credit to Sinclair as the author. The American Red Cross received millions of dollars in royalties, and Gordon Sinclair was present at a special ceremony acknowledging his donation.
Advertisers using print media contacted CFRB for permission to publish the text in a non-commercial manner; industrial plants asked for the right to print the script in leaflet form to handout to their employees.
Gordon Sinclair received invitations to attend and be honoured at many functions in the United States which, by number and due to family health problems at the time, he had to decline. However, CFRB newscaster Charles Doering, was flown to Washington to give a public reading of THE AMERICANS to the 28th National Convention of the United States Air Force Association, held September 18, 1974 at the Sheraton Park Hotel. His presentation was performed with the on-stage backing of the U.S. Air Force Concert Band, joined by the 100-voice Singing Sergeants in a special arrangement of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
8 years after the first broadcast of THE AMERICANS, U.S. President Ronald Reagan made his first official visit to Canada. At the welcoming ceremonies on Parliament Hill, the new President praised "the Canadian journalist who wrote that (tribute)" to the United States when it needed a friend. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had Sinclair flown to Ottawa to be his guest at the reception that evening.
Sinclair had a long and pleasant conversation with Mr. Reagan. The President told him that he had a copy of the record of THE AMERICANS at his California ranch home when he was governor of the state, and played it from time to time when things looked gloomy.
On the evening of May 15th, 1984, following a regular day's broadcasting, Gordon Sinclair suffered a heart attack. He died on May 17th. As the word of his illness spread throughout the United States, calls inquiring about his condition had been received from as far away as Texas. The editorial in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune of May 28th was typical of the reaction of the United States news media - A GOOD FRIEND PASSES ON.
U.S. President Ronald Reagan: "I know I speak for all Americans in saying the radio editorial Gordon wrote in 1973 praising the accomplishments of the United States was a wonderful inspiration. It was not only critics abroad who forgot this nation's many great achievements, but even critics here at home. Gordon Sinclair reminded us to take pride in our nation's fundamental values."
Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau: "Gordon Sinclair's death ends one of the longest and most remarkable careers in Canadian Journalism. His wit, irreverence, bluntness and off-beat views have been part of the media landscape for so long that many Canadians had come to believe he would always be there."
Following a private family service, two thousand people from all walks of life filled Nathan Phillips Square in front of Toronto's City Hall for a public service of remembrance organized by Mayor Art Eggleton. Dignitaries joining him on the platform were Ontario Lieutenant-Governor, John Black Aird; the Premier of Ontario, William Davis; and Metro Chairman Paul Godfrey. Tens of thousands more joined them through CFRB's live broadcast of the service which began symbolically at 11:45 - the regular time of Sinc's daily broadcast of LET'S BE PERSONAL.
As Ontario Premier William Davis said of him "The name GORDON SINCLAIR could become the classic definition of a full life."(Source)
If you have never heard "The Americans", you have indeed missed one of the best tributes to America from a non American ever written or that will ever BE written.
It stands true to this day. A different war splits the American people, a different decade, in fact, a different century and it goes to show that history repeats itself.
Gordon SinclairListen to "The Americans" by Gordon Sinclair": Via www.bradjones.com.
Radio Station CFBR 1010
2 St. Clair Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"LET'S BE PERSONAL"
Broadcast June 5, 1973
CFRB, Toronto, Ontario
Topic: "The Americans"
The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany. It has declined there by 41% since 1971 and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least-appreciated people in all the world.
As long as sixty years ago, when I first started to read newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtse. Who rushed in with men and money to help? The Americans did. Thats who.
They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges and the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the Misssissippi is under water and no foreign land has sent a dollar to help. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy, were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of those countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.
When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. And I was there. I saw that.
When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States that hurries into help... Managua Nicaragua is one of the most recent examples. So far this spring, 59 American communities have been flattened by tornadoes. Nobody has helped.
The Marshall Plan .. the Truman Policy .. all pumped billions upon billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now, newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent war-mongering Americans.
Now,I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplanes.
Come on now... you, let's hear it! Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar or the Douglas 10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all international lines except Russia fly American planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or a women on the moon?
You talk about Japanese technocracy and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy and you find men on the moon, not once, but several times ... and safely home again. You talk about scandals and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even the draft dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are right here on our streets in Toronto, most of them ... unless they are breaking Canadian laws .. are getting American dollars from Ma and Pa at home to spend up here.
When the Americans get out of this bind ... as they will... who could blame them if they said 'the hell with the rest of the world'. Let someone else buy the bonds, Let someone else build or repair foreign dams or design foreign buildings that won't shake apart in earthquakes.
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both of them are still broke. I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble.
Can you name to me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.
Our neighbours have faced it alone and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their noses at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles.
I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug, self-righteous Canadians. And finally, the American Red Cross was told at its 48th Annual meeting in New Orleans this morning that it was broke.
This year's disasters .. with the year less than half-over - has taken it all and nobody...but nobody... has helped.
- RealAudio, .ram, 1.30 mb
- Windows Media, .asf, 256 kb
- Windows Media, .wma, 707 kb
- MPEG Layer 3, .mp3, 811 kb
(The text was corrected thanks to a commenter here noticing it wasn't exact, so I listened and made the appropriate changes.)
Why does it seem that it took a man from a different country to understand how great America is?
If you are one of those people he speaks about, SHAME ON YOU.... if you are sitting there after reading and/or hearing his words going "RIGHT ON"... nice to meet you friend isn't it great to be an American?
I will leave you with one more of my favorites.
America the Beautiful
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.
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.
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY
Died: May 17, 1984