I get a lump in my throat when our Olympians stand on the gold tier while our National Anthem is played. Blast it behind the concussion and spray of fireworks and my emotions spill every time.
I remember while living in Great Britain as an elementary school child, standing to say The Pledge...but there wasn't one. Instead we started the class by singing "God Save the Queen," the British National Anthem. The tune is the same as "My Country Tis of Thee." A young, patriotic rebel, I sang our version under my breath.
My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim's pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!
I learned the Preamble to the Constitution --like all good 7th graders-- by watching School House Rock every Saturday morning during cartoons! In fact, during American History, the entire class quietly hummed the tune during a test. The teacher smiled.
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
What does a 7th grader know about posterity?
I can't explain why something fluttered inside my gut, but I am acutely aware of that day's memory at Bastrop Junior High - East Campus in Louisiana. The teacher explained: All of these rights are for you and your children and your children's children. All future generations.
The National Anthem of the United States is the ONLY anthem of any country which ends with a question.
Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
I sincerely hope it does for our posterity.