O Beautiful for Spacious Skies- Land of the Free and Home of the Brave


This wonderful song was written by Katherine L. Bates and was first published in 1910. The words and sentiment continue to ring true today. July 4th has become a celebration of freedom for the United States with many concerts, picnics and other gatherings.

Today is the birthday of the United States. It became a national holiday in 1941 and is also known as Independence Day. Why?

According to History.com :

  • The tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.
  • John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826–the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Is America Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?

Things have changed since the days of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Of course, we need for things to change as they can’t stay the same forever. Every generation states their case as to how the freedoms in America are eroding. I am no different. I love this country and the freedom it allows but sometimes it appears to be shrinking.

One example of many would be the use of drones. What value does that have to the common citizen? Very little it appears but to the government and to its enemies it has far-reaching implications of the information it can acquire.

Being a sports enthusiast, I can envision that college football programs will send a drone to the practice facilities of their opponents to get a first-hand view of their playbook. Drones have one purpose and only purpose only and that is to gather information.

I can assuredly say in my life that I have nothing to hide as far as my behavior. What I have to hide are all my credit card numbers, passwords and banking information. Other than those types of things they can watch me in the bathroom all they want.

Now I can see how some drones can be useful. I am told there are a few drones that are being used by farmers to keep track of their fields and irrigation. That sounds good but they could also fly to another place for another purpose if the farmer felt mischivious.

So what am I saying?

I am extremely pleased we are free. We have freedom. We have democracy. But the lines are constantly and continually moving away from those ideals. It is very difficult to get back what we have lost. This is not a political writing as I blame both sides equally. It has been a long process of take and very little return.

Happy Birthday, America!


O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain;

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood,

From sea to shining sea.


O beautiful for heroes proved

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life!

America! America!

May God thy gold refine,

Till all success be nobleness,

And every gain divine.


O beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam,

Undimmed by human tears!

America! America!

God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self control,

Thy liberty in law.


The opinions in this blog are those of Tom Knuppel