Fourth of July Celebrations
Betty W Stoffel
Let there be prayers as well as great parades.
Let hymns combine with patriotic songs,
Let there be leaders of the future days,
With heroes of the past amid the thrngs.
Let reverent silence punctuate the noise,
Let God be praised for this great land of ours,
Let sober meditation balance joys
And grave humility mark crucial hours.
Let statesmanship grow from this nation's need.
Let citizenship be equal to these days,
That godly men who gave their lives indeed
Be not betrayed by dull, indifferent ways.
Let joyfulness, not wildness, mark the free,
That God may find us worth our liberty!
A Nation's Strength
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What makes a nation's pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?
It is not gold. It's kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.
Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.
And is it pride? Ah, that bright creown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at His feet.
Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor's sake
Stand fast and suffer long.
Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly . . . .
They build a nation's pillars deepAnd lift them to the sky.