Renew. On freedom. And US.

Freedom rings in

those who lay down

their swords of pride and fear, choosing

instead to use both arms to embrace

their brothers and sisters bent in the ruins 

of despair.

The bombs burst, fueled

by the oxygen of hope, ignited

by the freedom to change in the shadows

of Washington crossing the river

and Lincoln freeing the slaves

and Roosevelt riding rough

and the rows of corn browning in fall

and the rivers curving, ancient and still

and the sea to shining sea.

Because this land is a mess 

but this land

is ours

and we who dwell upon it owe it

and each other

kindness, like the starlings who invaded

unwelcome, but who thrive anyway

by the grace of the One

Who made them.

Let us then rise up and repair the 

devastations

that will ever be among us, 

and which will only be raised up 

one at a time

hand in hand

together.

because we are all strangers in a foreign land

and we only link hands when we

stop

and see

that we are not so different, you

and I.

The rocket red glare of darkness always threatens

cities on a hill.

And so

we turn our eyes to spacious skies

above the plains of division and to the statesman–O, let there be even one–

in this sweet land 

of liberty, where fathers died

and brothers and sons. Let their music

“swell the breeze,

And ring from all the trees”

Sweet freedom’s song.

Sweet.

Freedom, if nothing else, is that. 

Let us at least link arms and fight 

for the nectar we have too long taken

for granted.

God bless

the U.S.A.

Amen.

*

President Ronald Reagan, on the occasion of his inauguration, January 20, 1981:

“Mr. President, I want our fellow citizens to know how much you did to carry on this tradition. By your gracious cooperation in the transition process, you have shown a watching world that we are a united people pledged to maintaining a political system which guarantees individual liberty to a greater degree than any other, and I thank you and your people for all your help in maintaining the continuity which is the bulwark of our Republic.”

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