Epic poem in honor of America’s birthday | RecordCourier.com

Epic poem in honor of America’s birthday

by Dana Lyn Blane

Eleven score and sixteen years ago

Our forefathers, through inspiration and visionary design,

Conceived this nation and its foundation

With courage, insight, prudence, and determination.

Understanding that their decision was not only bold

But an irreversible, world-changing landmark

They commissioned Thomas Jefferson

To pen the words that would put voice to thought

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson wrote,

“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary

For one people to dissolve the political bands

Which have connected them with another…”

And with those words began the document

That sealed and underscored the resolve of the people

To seek independence, not because they hated England

But because they loved freedom more

Jefferson went on to write the words we remember most

That we quote, we rely upon, we hold dear in our hearts

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal

That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…”

With that declaration, we assumed the rights and responsibilities

That were embodied in our intrepid decision to separate

And become a sovereign nation, a fledgling infant country

Whose heartbeat was just beginning to be heard around the world

With our proclamation and Concord’s single initial shot

The birth of a unique and exceptional entity

Initiated, rather than ended, the pains of labor

That would be felt throughout the years to come

Our Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War that followed

Showed us our nation’s earliest heroes, heroes that fought and sacrificed

John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere

Ethan Allen, Mary Draper, Thomas Paine, Molly Pitcher, the list goes on.

Men and women who so believed in this noble cause

That they gave freely of themselves, freely with their deeds, their lives

To pass on to future generations of Americans

A birthright we’ve come to love, value, and continuously defend.

And defend we have been so often called upon to execute

By war, by treaty, by conflict, by negotiation

But never by compromising the ideals we swore

To uphold throughout an often chaotic and defiant world

On the shoulders of our own citizens is this burden borne

Those unselfish souls who choose or have been chosen

To sacrifice time, security, life, limb, and even their own freedom

To honor the commitment to, the contract with, the promise to the American people

Throughout our history, our democracy, our sovereignty, our liberty

Have been challenged by forces without and within America’s borders

By those who would seek an opportunity

To silence the heartbeat yearning to beat strong

Yet in spite of each new and brazen challenge

In the face of those craving to destroy her

Have defiantly and proudly stood their ground

Those who answered the call to keep her free

From the War of 1812

When we were still learning just to stand

On newborn legs of independence

Came new heroes to reassert our liberty

And when our nation threatened to dissolve itself

In the Civil War my great-grandfather called anything but civil

Again heroes rose to preserve our union

And resuscitate the damaged heartbeat of America

Through World War I, when chaos seemed to reign

Ripping apart fragile seams in the fabric of the globe

Our heroes were there to help set things right

To bring calm to a violent explosion of hate

World War II, the second war to end all wars,

Inspired a new generation of heroes, a fighting spirit in their souls

To march with dignity in a powerful cadence

And victoriously make America’s strengthened heartbeat resound

Tumultuous times ran rampant as our nation grew and changed

Sending words of protest blowing angrily across the land

And debates over mission and motive flourished

Our fighting compatriots still served our nation with pride

And though at times our gratitude seemed tarnished

And the welcome home was not always grand

Those brave souls who served in Vietnam

Deserve their place atop the heroes’ wall

No matter what the call to arms has been

American heroes have fought, suffered and died

And those that make it to the end of service

Are our veterans who have always stood on America’s side

Our struggles and trials have not ended

New enemies of our freedom have been born

Just cowards using the weapon of terrorism

Trying to extinguish the heartbeat of what makes us free

But we know we will come through the pain

And endure the blows of renewed adversity

For we have a new generation of heroes fresh for the fight

And are the veterans of tomorrow

More than twenty-five million veterans now live among us

Grandparents, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters

Neighbors, bosses, colleagues, and friends

Though their hero status may not be evident, they are heroes to the end

We pay tribute to our veterans on a few days we’ve set aside

For solemn recognition, remembrance, and reverence

But we should honor them each and every day

For their selfless service to keep freedom’s heartbeat alive

Each of us is blessed by our Creator

With inalienable rights and precious gifts

God gave me my voice through words

Our veterans have given me the right to use it

Today is a day to celebrate with fireworks and fun

To rejoice in the greatness of America and our freedom

But we wouldn’t have today, our nation’s birthday

Without generations of veterans to defend her

Thank our veterans today

Raise your voices in grateful song

Be proud to be an American

In the presence of those who’ve kept her heartbeat strong.

Dana Lyn Blane wrote this poem on July 1 specifically for the Town of Minden’s 4th of July celebration