“Memorial Day” – remembers the wounded!”
“Memorial Day”… will last the whole week – and maybe even a few extra days – – at this time of the year – – since I feel that we should remember all of those who – – “fought the good fight” – – for the “FREEDOM” that we all … now enjoy!
The above photo is of my father – Denny H. McClarren Sr. when he was stationed in Manila, Philippines – doing his three, two-year stints in the Army. He was injured – – a mission on a motorcycle…hit by enemy fire …causing extensive damage to his back – – and in recuperating – – just not enough room for food in the stomach. So… to give him relief in the stomach area… just eating a little more than that tight “body cast” would allow for – – -a very nice size hole was made – – so his stomach could really enjoy an extra meal or two… NOW…and all of this could be his “passage back home” – to the United States.
At the time… when my FATHER signed up to join the Army – he was not yet old enough – – but “TIMES” were bad – and so – from a small town in OHIO – with one … too many other mouths to be feed in his home – the ARMY looked like the best place to go. This is probably the same situation for a lot of the young men in those times – and in his signing up for the ARMY – he would be taken care of – – and those at home would have it just a little easier – without an extra person to feed – also in those same times – – there was little or nothing in the line of work to be done by under age young men!
So, with the great plan of the ALMIGHTY – – – my Father-to-be was protected and his injury to his back – his having to be in a “body-cast” for six-months – – was gradually leading him to the Saint Louis, Missouri area – to where he will meet my MOTHER-to-be – – – so… then these two new “LIVES” – with lots of challenges… some good and bad choices… and a whole load of consequences to follow – – – up and down … over the years of LIFE – turns out to be a sink or swim situation…
Since I do not know any other LIFE – I cannot comment on some wild wish – but I am grateful for the LIFE – that I was given… and I can only guess that – if … we all think about where we are and where we could have been – that … somewhere else …would not maybe …be as good… we should all be grateful and thankful – that the ALMIGHTY did send protection to and for all of our SERVICE MEN – who were injured and were able to come HOME – making a FAMILY – that we can all we proud of!
With lots of PRAYER for all of the SERVICE MEN that served in all of the past WARS and CONFLICTS and for those who are still defending AMERICA – today – – we should daily… Pray for Blessings – for their Guidance and the continued Presence of the ALMIGHTY – that – those that served are always and forever… remembered!
“WARS” also take a toll – – a “PRICE” too high… on taking so many young LIVES – – just too many – – and I only HOPE – – that those who PAID for our FREEDOM – – with the ultimate “GIFT” that one can GIVE… their very own… LIFE!” – – – “ALMIGHTY YAHWEH” bless those SERVICE MEN and WOMEN and the FAMILIES that they had to leave behind – – more abundantly…NOW and FOREVER!”
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Katharine Lee Bates wrote America the Beautiful first as a poem which was originally published in the Fourth of July edition of the church periodical The Congregationalist in 1895. Bates was only 33 years old at the time when she traveled to the top of Pike’s Peak, pictured here, which inspired her to write it.
This plaque commemorating her trip is at the top of Pike’s Peak. Bates wrote, ” We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse.”
Bates took a train from Massachusetts to Colorado Springs to teaching a summer session. Sights from her journey appear in the piece, including Chicago’s Colombian Exposition. Bates references the World’s Fair, with its many white buildings, in the line “Thine alabaster cities gleam.”
Image from the Chicago Tribune archive photos.
Samuel A. Ward, a church organist, composed the music for the song after a day at Coney Island, but Ward died in 1903, one year before his music was joined with Bates’ lyrics. Ward and Bates never met. You can find free sheet music for the tune here.
No one made a great deal of money off the song. Bates received $5 for the initial publication of her poem and gave up all royalties to it when it was published. Ward’s family never moved to received payment for his music.
In addition to not making much money, Bates didn’t receive critical acclaim, either. When reviewing her book “America the Beautiful, and Other Poems” that was published in 1912, a reviewer in the New York Times wrote: “[W]e intend no derogation to Miss Katharine Lee Bates when we say that she is a good minor poet.
Amber waves of grain aren’t always enough. The song was considered a main contender for the national anthem, along with My Country ‘Tis of Thee and The Star Spangle Banner. In 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a law making the national anthem the Star Spangled Banner, upsetting many. In the decades since, many have continued to lobby for the anthem to be changed to the more peaceful, easier to sing America The Beautiful. A quick Google search reveals dozens of currently active petitions.
The Chinese played the song to welcome President Richard Nixon on his visit there in 1972.
America the Beautiful can be heard at the Super Bowl or Presidential Inauguration, but it can come up in unexpected places. It is used in Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game, a favorite tween book.
Ray Charles was known for his amazing version of America the Beautiful and included the song on his Greatest Hits album. He supported it becoming the national anthem, asking, “Honestly, wouldn’t you rather sing about the beauty of America?” Below is Charles performing America the Beautiful in 1972.
Here are the lyrics to America The Beautiful:
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.
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“What better way to remember the ‘TRUE Price of FREEDOM’ – – than with a couple of my favorite AMERICAN Songs – – and sung with some very great voices? – – Let me know if you also agree on the selection?”
“This song… is a PRAYER… “God Bless America” and is sung by “KATE SMITH” when she introduced this song in the MOVIE – – and I LOVE it every time she sings it.” In 1943, Smith’s rendition was featured in the patriotic musical This is the Army along with other Berlin songs.
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“Do you remember “KATE SMITH” singing……..”
“GOD BLESS AMERICA” – and as only she could sing – as this song of all of our “SONGS” – that we AMERICANS” would sing during WWII – since we did need the ALMIGHTY to help us! Somewhere in this “WORLD” – we people think that – that the CREATOR of Heaven and EARTH – needs us, the creation – – “where in the world did we get that crazy thought?” “Without our CREATOR” we people are nothing – here today and gone tomorrow!”
Do you remember where you were during the 1940’s?” I was just a small girl in a FAMILY of five living in the North Saint Louis area – and everybody that I knew – we did “know” that AMERICA was in a WAR – and all of us had to do our part – to help in whatever way we could – to help bring this WAR to an early end!
By the way, the song “God Bless America,” written by Irving Berlin in 1938, is a prayer: “While the storm clouds gather far across the sea, let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free. Let us all be grateful for a land so fair, as we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.” Then the familiar refrain: “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.”
The above paragraph – I brought in from Pastor Grey Laurie – Harvest Ministry message to me – for May 7th, 2015 – “Prayer DAY” The reason for this is so that everyone will have the words for “GOD BLESS AMERICA” and can sing or just read those words in a prayer for the Almighty Yahweh to help AMERICA – in her need today!
In the 1940’s – everyone did their part – to help everyone else – as you knew by looking at the “Front Windows” in each home on your block and on every street in you neighborhood – you knew – whose Father or Brother – was in the WAR – and which FAMILY – really were in a true need – as a member of their FAMILY – just gave the ultimate gift – his LIFE for his Country!
Today – we are in another WAR – this is a WAR that some have against “GOD” and everything that HE stands for! “Why” What makes us mere mortals think that we can create anything – who died and left the governing of this “WORLD” to be run by people who will also be gone tomorrow!?Why can we not realize that the lessons that we had to learn in previous WARS – are what we need to continually work on? We need “HOPE” for a better day – and we can only achieve by our united action – to be united like the slogan on our coins – “IN GOD WE TRUST!”
A note from our “Fore-Fathers” – they had complete and a united trust in the one and only “LIVING GOD” that they prayed to before – during and after each and every need that they ever had – and by their constant and sincere PRAYER – they were able to plant AMERICA on a good foundation – “Do we not call ourselves and this Country that we live in?” – “The United States of AMERICA”
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May 13th… is GAIL’s BIRTHDAY – – and we sure do not want to forget to wish “GAIL” a very “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” – – and with the Almighty YAHWEH’s BLESSINGS – – many more!”
Happy Birthday to Gail – – from all of your old and do I mean old class-mates and that is even – – if – – half of us are still around to lift a glass of something to cheer you on – for many more years – and hopefully – we can all remember the words – – to the “Happy Birthday” song!
L to R – Back row – Stella – Mary Ellen – Gail
L to R – Front row – Mary Agnes – Jeanne – Theresa – Violet
Taking this picture is Betty Jean – – “Elma and Eleanor” – – would make the rest of our class mates – – were not around at the time we were taking a few photos.
In the photo on the right – is Mary Ellen and Eleanor and this is in the NORTH Saint Louis area – and some time… after we had graduated from German Saint Vincent’s Orphanage.
Gail – – – – have the very best “Birthday” ever! “BEST of WISHES” from all the rest of your class-mates – – via my thinking of you and our class – – even if … half are no longer here – – but are wishing to you… all the best – – from the great beyond!.
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