Last year my brother and I undertook a fun project. We love listening to inspiring CDs, but when it came to the choices we had for patriotic songs there were NONE! I seriously LOVE patriotic songs. I live in the coolest city WEST of the Mississippi. On the 4th of July a local company owner puts up his own money and gives our area the BIGGEST fireworks show west of the Mississippi! Don't ask me how they KNOW it's the biggest, but when I see it every year, I tend to believe it! Anyway, a local radio station also sponsors the big event by putting together a play list that goes with the fireworks. Let me tell you, there are many many times when I listen to the songs they play and see the shining lights in the sky and I just cry. I feel so grateful to those men and women who made it possible for me to live the kind of life I can today. Anyway, my brother and I wanted to capture that "magic" to carry with us. I mean, when you want to get into the Christmas spirit you play Christmas music, right? So we wanted to feel the Patriotic spirit, so we made this CD. We searched and searched for the perfect songs that capture the feelings the we have on Independence Day and finally we thought we had come up with a good list, so we went to work making one for each person in our family. I think I listened to that CD a hundred times last year...I LOVE IT!!
This year I started thinking about that magical CD and I knew I was ready for that patriotic spirit!! I grabbed my CD holder that I keep in my car and flipped through the whole thing...it WASN'T there! But I wasn't deterred...I knew there were other places it could be. I went to my CD stash in the house and looked...it wasn't there either! AH!! I was starting to panic! I want that music...I need to feel that surge of gratefulness...where was I going to get it from?? I started to freak out and my husband calmly walked down the stairs and handed over the beloved CD. A wave of relief flooded over me. Since the day he gave me the CD I've listened to it many many times. I want to hear those songs when I come in the house and not just in the car (where I listen to the majority of my CDs) so this morning I burned myself an extra copy....YAY!! I'm so happy.
Now to get to the reason I'm writing this WHOLE big back-story. My absolute favorite FAVORITE patriotic song is "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood. To me, this holiday would NOT be complete without hearing it, at least once! Years and years ago we sang this song in a huge 3rd grade program and ever since then I've LOVED it! It just makes me grateful to live in a free land where you can do pretty much anything your heart desires. What other country allows you the right to bad mouth those very rights that allows you to speak your mind? Okay, so maybe the way I say it doesn't make sense, but I mean, seriously...I love living in this country. My heart swells with pride everytime I hear those sweet words, "I thank my lucky stars to be living here today, 'Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away. And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free, And I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me, And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, 'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land; God Bless the U.S.A."
I think of all of those people out there who want to destroy those sacred rights that I love and cherish! And then my mind turns to September 11th. I know that I will ALWAYS remember the feelings I felt that day. I had an almost one-year-old son, and I thought that it was the end of the world. I wondered what kind of a world my son would live in. I sat numbly watching the images that they had on the news. By the time I had heard about what was going on, the first tower had already fallen and the second was leaning pretty badly. When that second tower started to fall, my heart sank and tears came to my eyes. My thoughts were on those poor children who lost their parents and how their lives would change so drastically. My heart had broken! Part of my "patriotic" CD is dedicated to remembering the feelings I felt that day, I have a few songs that are September 11th-esque. I always want to remember how TRULY blessed I am to live where I do, doing the things I can, and enjoying my life the way I see fit! (And just so you don't think I'm only talking about the USA...in my mind I think Canada is a part of this great land, their way of living is so close to our own, it's only right that they be included in this chant of blessing the USA/America!)
Now, my primary plans for tomorrow. It's the last Sunday of June (where did the month go?) and on the last Sunday of each month we play the SAME game. It's a little boy who needs to put on the armor of God. On the back of each piece of armor I have one of the songs that we need to review. Since we haven't learned ALL the songs for the year, I do have one or two fun songs. And we won't be picking another piece of armor until the kids sing the song to my satisfaction. The songs we'll be reviewing are: "Dearest Children, God is Near You," "Scripture Power," "I Know My Father Lives," "Follow the Prophet," "Did Jesus Really Live Again?," and "Holding Hands Around the World." They LOVE it when we play this game. And so that I'm fair to all kids involved, I pick names out of a can that the Primary Presidency has made. It has EVERYONE'S names on sticks with flowers on top. It just makes it so I don't have to think about who to pick next, and it REALLY helps you memorize those names!