Mason County News
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AROUND THE SQUARE
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 • Posted July 2, 2008

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!

Independence Day.

Fourth of July.

July 4th.

Freedom.

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.

Independence Day.

The only holiday that celebrates the United States.

And we are the celebrators.

Independent and free.

O! 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 through the perilous fight,

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

And the rockets’ 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?

Fourth of July.

Our very own national holiday.

Celebrating our very own nation.

Under God.

Indivisible.

With liberty and justice for all.

God Bless America,

Land that I love.

Stand beside her, and guide her

Through 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.

It took a revolution.

One that my ancestors fought in.

To be free.

And they died in battle.

But they won it for me.

America! America! God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.

No longer would the British crown rule.

Now we were Americans.

And we had a Declaration of Independence to prove it.

The day it became official:

July 4, 1776.

Let freedom ring!

1777 meant the first Fourth of July celebration.

In Rhode Island, thirteen guns fired, once at morning and again as evening fell.

Philadelphia went all out with an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, fireworks, with ships decked in red, white, and blue bunting.

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air.

In 1778, General George Washington marked Independence Day with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.

From the mountains, to the prairies,

To the oceans, white with foam

God bless America, My home sweet home.

Happy Fourth of July!

That’s Mason.

Renee Walker is an author, poet, and real estate broker on the square.

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