Let Freedom Ring!

It was 1976. The United States bicentennial celebration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. A colossal family road trip, from the Oklahoma panhandle to the East Coast, and an unforgettable history lesson. I was six.

The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing 27 colonial grievances against King George III and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

At the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. with Carl Albert, Speaker of the House, and a friend of my dad from Oklahoma.
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My brother and I in our bicentennial overalls crack me up, D.C.
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The Liberty Bell at Independence Hall, Philadelphia

In the city of brotherly love, the Declaration and U.S. Constitution were debated and adopted at Independence Hall, where the Liberty Bell remains, crack and all. The symbolic inscription reads: “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land unto All the Inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10). All means all.

One of my all-time favorite photos of Dad and Lady Liberty.

We rode the ferry to Ellis Island and ascended the steps within the Statue of Liberty all the way into her crown. The torch was closed, but the harbor remained open, welcoming the world’s homeless, freedom seekers. At the pedestal, there is a bronze plaque inscribed with the Emma Lazarus poem: 

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Picturesque Patriotism at Home

My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim’s pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!

God Bless America and Happy Fourth of July wherever you are! 

37 thoughts on “Let Freedom Ring!

      1. France loves America – but we don’t want to be too quick to admit it. Your country fascinates and frightens us at the same time – but we remember La Fayette too! And of the Civil War (so, from here, nobody understands what’s going on in the USA at the moment… but a country seen from afar, we don’t understand it. ) 🙂 Wonderful day my friend ❤

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  1. Happy 4th. Nice family legacy. I have yet to see the statue of liberty up close despite being born in New York City. One of my short stories was published today! It has been a long road. I am happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats on your publication! You have a double reason to celebrate! I thought I won $100 on a scratch off lottery card today, but no, I misunderstood the rules. 😂

      I returned to NYC and Ellis Island about ten years ago. I was surprised at how powerful the experience was for me. Happy 4th, CCC!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Neil! Fireworks started popping off in the neighborhood at midnight last night. There will be a display downtown, broadcasted on ABC. Roads and parks nearby will be closed. My big celebration was writing today’s blog. 🇺🇸

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your father was right, you can choose your attitude. You (meaning all of us free in America) can also change our attitudes when we discover that we are out of line.
    Today we celebrate the birth of our country and our freedom. We must now change the attitudes which deny freedom to the many of us who are not white. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness must be guaranteed to Blackskinned, Brown-skinned, Yellowskinned, and Rainbowed skinned. We, the privileged whites, must act with our fellowed other colored citizens to ensure equality for all. Thank you, Dr. Bob

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  3. Splendid, Crystal! Your post clearly celebrates a traveler’s love for our country’s still-unfurling variety.

    My congratulations, too, as you’ve experienced more of the Northeast by age six than I have, even by now…and I live here!

    Well, to prepare yesterday’s recipe I did use a bicentennial mixing bowl my mother bought back in ’76, so there is that. Actually, that bowl sees activity nearly every weekend, but yesterday it had a certain poignance.

    Anyway, Crystal, the fireworks are over for the year, though for additional illuminations we need only log on to your site.

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    1. Why, thank you, Keith! It all started with the photos and turned full-on ode. We actually dipped through all of the thirteen colonies that trip. Too bad I can’t remember it all. I suppose I’ll have to return.

      And if bowls could talk, yours would have some stories to tell—of exotic foods and far off places. A melting pot of sorts—transporting the palate.

      💥💥💥

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