2021 America – Let Freedom Ring

2021 America – Let Freedom Ring, I made this cross-stitch sampler in 1993. I wanted to do this sampler because I love the red, white, and blue flag and the eagle on the pattern. I have always loved the colors red, white, and blue, and the flag and the country it represents. As a child, I learned to respect the flag and all it stands for and why it stands taller than any other flag in the United States.

My country, ’tis of thee,

Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee, I sing.

Land where my fathers died,

Land of the pilgrims’ pride,

From every mountainside

Let freedom ring!

Samuel Francis Smith wrote the lyrics to “America” in 1831.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931).

I can remember standing up alongside my desk every day at school at the flag hand over my heart in my classroom saying the Pledge of Allegiance. I was an elementary school secretary each day I would select a student to recite the Pledge over the intercom. It was an honor and privilege for that student, you could see it all over their face. If you were not in class at that time you stopped what you were doing and put your hand over your heart to recite the Pledge. No one ever complained, no one refused it was how we started our day.

America (My Country Tis’ of Thee) is a song I learned in school when I was young. We usually sang it for special occasions at school. It was one of many patriotic songs I learned by heart over the years. I love singing them and learning why they were written and how they became part of the American way.

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,

O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Frances Scott Key was inspired to write it after he saw the American flag flying above Fort McHenry after US forces fought off an attack by British soldiers during the Battle of Baltimore

Every American knows the words to this song, I have seen children sing it with such pride I have seen adults sing it with a tear in their eye. It brings a memory to everyone who hears it no matter where you were born and raised.

As I have watched the events play out on January 6th, I like so many are hurt by what we saw happening in our country. I think about what my parents would have said about seeing this play out on TV. They would have been hurt, my father was a WWII veteran, an American Legion member, and a Boy Scout Leader,  my mother was a Den mother for the Cub Scouts, PTA room mother, and a family genealogist. I saw countless parades in our small town in Illinois that my brothers carried the American flag. It was understood in my family to respect the flag and the country because other countries were not like America.

I think about what my grandparents would say about all the destruction of the Capital, my grandfather went to war along with his brothers to defend the rights we have in this country. I can only imagine that my grandmother would have felt sad about all of this, she was a Christian woman who went to church and prayed for her children when they went off to war. She did not want to see them go, but she knew the reason they were fighting for in WWII.

My great-grandparents, some were first-time generation families that came to America, with one goal to be able to live in a free society where they could bring up their children. They became naturalized citizens because it mattered to them that much that they never wanted to return to a place where they could not be free to thrive. They told their children not to speak their foreign language because they were in America and wanted them to learn English. They came to America because they could be free to be a better person and have a decent life for their families. I am sure after the Civil War people never again wanted to see people fighting against themselves instead of agreeing peacefully on what divided them.

I wonder about what my ancestors who sailed for months from foreign countries on a ship with hardly anything except the clothes on their backs would have felt about the January 6th riot. My ancestors fought in every war because they thought it was worth it to be living in a country that gave them the freedoms of a prosperous life and to raise their families as they saw fit instead of living under a dictatorship.

I have read several documents, stories, and death certificates that told the story of what they had to go through to be a citizen of this country. They would do it all again if they needed to. The Capital is where important decisions are made, and those decisions are not made by tearing down a building that my ancestors worked so hard all their lives to preserve and protect over the years.

In closing, I remember when I was that school secretary and there would be a little girl come into the office and tell me her heart hurt. I asked her why it hurt, and she told me she just needed a hug to start the day. I never thought twice about it and hugged her and off she went down the hallway. I think after I witnessed what happened on January 6th, we all need a hug! Let us remember that we are being watched by our children who will someday be the leaders of our great country, will they change history or will they repeat what we witnessed on January 6, 2021?


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