Monday, May 28, 2007

Some Patriotic Poems...

In honor of Memorial Day, here is Howard Schnauber's poem, My Name is Old Glory aka I am the Flag:
I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America's halls of justice.
I fly majestically over great institutes of learning.
I stand guard with the greatest military power in the world.
Look up! And see me!
I stand for peace - honor - truth and justice.
I stand for freedom
I am confident - I am arrogant
I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners
My head is a little higher
My colors a little truer.
I bow to no one.
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped - I am saluted - I am respected
I am revered - I am loved, and I am feared.
I have fought every battle of every war for more than 200 years:
Gettysburg, Shilo, Appomatox, San Juan Hill, the trenches of France,
the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome, the beaches of Normandy,
the deserts of Africa, the cane fields of the Philippines, the rice paddies andjungles of Guam, Okinawa, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Guadalcanal
New Britain, Peleliu, and many more islands.
And a score of places long forgotten by all but those who were with me.
I was there.
I led my soldiers - I followed them.
I watched over them.
They loved me.
I was on a small hill in Iwo Jima.
I was dirty, battle-worn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me,
and I was proud.
I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of
countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt, for I am invincible.
I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of
my country, and when it is by those
with whom I have served in battle - it hurts.
But I shall overcome - for I am strong.
I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stand watch over the
uncharted new frontiers of space
from my vantage point on the moon.
I have been a silent witness to all of America's finest hours.
But my finest hour comes when I am torn into strips to
be used for bandages for my wounded comrades on the field of battle,
When I fly at half mast to honor my soldiers,
And when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving
mother at the graveside of her fallen son.
I am proud.
My name is Old Glory.
Dear G-d - Long may I wave.

Here is I am the Nation or as it's known during the opening ceremonies of Thunder over Louisville, Proud to be an American:
I was born on July 4, 1776 and the Declaration of Independence is my birth certificate. The bloodlines of the world run in my veins, because I offered freedom to the oppressed. I am many things, and many people. I AM THE NATION.

I am 243 million living souls...and the ghost of millions who have lived and died for me. I am Nathan Hale and Paul Revere. I stood at Lexington and fired the shot heard around the world. I am Washington, Jefferson and Molly Pitcher. I am John Paul Jones, the Green Mountain Boys, and Davey Crockett. I am Lee and Grant and Abe Lincoln.

I remember the Alamo, the Maine and Pearl Harbor. When freedom called I answered and stayed until it was over...over there. I left my heroic dead in Flanders Fields, on the roads of Corregidor, on the bleak slopes of Korea and in the steaming jungles of Vietman.

I am the Brooklyn Bridge, the wheat lands of Kansas and the granite hills of Vermont. I am the coal fields of the Virginias and the bluegrass farms in Kentucky, the Golden Gate and the Grand Canyon. I am Independence Hall, the Spirit of St. Louis...and footprints on the moon.

I am big; I sprawl from the Atlantic to the Pacific. My arms reach out to embrace Alaska and Hawaii, more than 3 million square miles throbbing with industry and technology. I am more than 2 million farms. I am forest, field, mountain and desert. I am quiet villages...and cities that never sleep. You can look at me and see Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross, Babe Ruth and the World Series.

I am 170,000 schools and colleges and 260,000 churches where my people worship G-d as they think best. I am a ballot dropped into a box and an editorial in a newspaper. I am the roar of a crowd in a stadium, and the voice of a choir in a cathedral.

I am Mark Twain and Stephen Foster. I am Tom Edison, Albert Einstein and Walt Disney. I am the Wright Brothers, Will Rogers and Bob Hope. I am Henry Ford, Jonas Salk, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. I am Neil Armstrong, Charles Yeager and Christa McAuliffe. Yes, I AM THE NATION, and these are the things that I am. I was conceived in freedom and, G-d willing, in freedom I will spend the rest of my days, PROUD TO BE AMERICAN.

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