On July 4, 1976, while America was observing its bicentennial, I sat in the Windows on the World restaurant atop the North Tower of the World Trade Center and watched fireworks light up the New York night. Slightly more than a quarter of a century later, I stood transfixed in front of an appliance store window in downtown Denver and watched in horror repeated showings of that building being destroyed by a plane commandeered by terrorists in a suicide mission. I knew then, and I still believe, that our world will never be the same after 9/11.
One change of which I heartily approve is the practice major league baseball instituted after 9/11. I grew up singing along with the crowd during the seventh inning stretch, Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Now, we pause to honor America and sing words penned seven decades ago by Irving Berlin, a song that has had deep meaning for Americans through a world war and the numerous conflicts that followed. Now, more than ever, it should be the prayer of every American: God Bless America.
Fly your flag this weekend. And the next time you hear the song, sing the words as though you mean them.
God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.
© Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin
© Copyright Renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin
© Copyright Assigned to the Trustees of the God Bless America Fund