Tuesday, July 3, 2012

4th of July

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover ALL combat servicemembers and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. This foundation is not about politics. It's about people.

The 4th of July means a different things to different people. A day off work. Fireworks. Watermelon.

It is a chance to show your patriotism. Fly the flag. Remember our soldiers.

Here in Kansas the folks are very patriotic. The Quilts of Valor booth was the first one I saw at the Quilt show recently.

And at the movie theatre last weekend before the show, there was an American Flag projected onto the screen while we listened to John Wayne's booming voice reciting his favorite poem, Why I Love Her (written by John Mitchum):

You ask me Why I Lover Her? Well, give me time and I'll explain.
Have you see a Kansas sunset or an Arizona rain?
Have you drifted on a bayou down Louisiana way?
Have you watched a cold fog drifting over San Francisco Bay?

Have you heard a bobwhite calling in the Carolina pines,
Or heard the bellow of a diesel at the Appalachia mines?
Does the call of Niagara thrill you when you hear her waters roar?
Do you look with awe and wonder at her Massachusetts shore,
Where men who braved a hard new world first stepped on Plymouth's rock?
And do you think of them when you stroll along a new York City dock?

Have you seen a snowflake drifting in the Rockies, way up high?
Have you seen the sun come blazing down from a bright Nevada sky?
Do you hail to the Columbia as she rushes to the sea,
Or bow your head at Gettysburg at our struggle to be free?

Have you seen the mighty Tetons? Have you watched an eagle soar?
Have you see the Mississippi roll along Missouri's shore?
Have you felt a chill at Michigan when on a winter's day
Her waters rage along the shore in thunderous display?
Does the word "Aloha" make you warm? Do you stare in disbelief
When you see the surf come roaring in at Waimea Reef?

From Alaska's cold to the Everglades, from the Rio Grande to Maine,
My heart cries out, my pulse runs fast at the might of her domain.
You ask me Why I Love Her? I've a million reasons why:
My Beautiful America, beneath God's wide, wide sky.

John Wayne delivered this before the 1964 Republican National Convention in San Francisco, California. I had never heard this before. It was very moving and fitting for this Independence Day. Just read the words and see how many of those questions you can answer with YES, doesn't it make you want to get out and see this great nation!

Or you can listen to The Duke himself reciting it HERE

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