Thursday, March 12, 2009

Oh, beautiful for spacious skies...

America is alive and well in Texas.

The evidence was there for all to see Thursday night during the annual Burleson Chamber of Commerce awards banquet.

No, there weren’t 76 trombones blaring or even 100 flags flying. There were just scores of folks like you and me wrapped in the love and freedom that makes the United States of America the envy of the world.

Even with our problems, millions would love to enjoy what we often take for granted.

First we were allowed a peaceful assembly. There were no guards to keep us out. There was no one to search us as we came through the door. In fact, no police officers were seen.

What we did see and hear were happy young people saying “hi” and “go on in.”

In a lot of countries this would not be allowed.

Here were people anxious to greet a newcomer to the community with a personalized card, handshakes a smile and a genuine desire to help if need be.

America, alive and well.

A ladies choir clad in bright clothes with their voices loud and strong rallied us all with America the Beautiful, God Bless America and the National Anthem. People young and old lifted their voices together in a salute to the USA.

Four young men from Burleson High, spiffy in their ROTC program uniforms flawlessly presented the colors just perfectly, marching together to place the U.S. and Texas flags in their proper places next to the head table.

Thank you young men, it is people like you that will ensure that the future of America is strong.

As we pledged our allegiance everyone was respectful, hands over hearts, voicing the words we should never take for granted. There were no protesters and everyone was in accord. Words caught in the throats of some and tears were in evidence.

Yes, America is alive and well.

Awards were given and people were honored for their selfless commitment to the community. Men, women, young, old, winding a thread of service that binds us together as one nation.

Businesses owners and managers who believe in America and our community were honored. One drew special praise for helping a young person along the way academically. One said it was great just to make someone smile Yes, people really do care.

After the applause, the awards, the pats on the back a woman who reflects the American dreamed challenged the crowd. A black woman from a small town in Texas, she has climbed out of tough early childhood into a successful career in real estate and public speaking. Yes, only in America could her success be found.

Burleson is a great example of what all America is about, she declared. What about the problems we’re experiencing in America? “We are a nation that has learned to stick example to the world. We have survived. We are a people with a will to win. We will rise to the top. We will!”

In that meeting there were Republicans, Democrats, no doubt independents, and probably some who don’t know what to call themselves, politically. That’s okay, but we are all Americans. Look around today. Can you see America for what it is, a land of the free and home of the brave.

Sing it with me:

America, America, God shed His grace on thee, and crown thy good, with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.

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