The following poem-essay was a winner at the recent American Spirit Project Committee's Our AmeriCAN-Do-Spirit contest. The Standard-Examiner print edition does not include opinion poetry, but we will include it on StandardNET. Three other contest winners have been published in both print and StandardNET.
Our All-American spirit was in the hearts of men,
The pilgrims, and pioneers, and Native Americans;
We thank our brave explorers who settled this great land,
From place to place and state to state, they made our nation grand!
America was founded by the spirits of great men
Who strived for independence for all families and friends;
The English king and government that ruled across the sea,
Were defeated by America in its quest for liberty.
Our Founding Fathers penned the words, "One Nation under God,"
And to this day our Constitution 's words we do abide;
They grant to all men liberty to worship as we please,
To speak our peace, carry arms, and protect our families.
Our American spirit, with hands and feet that toiled,
Has built our towns and cities and farmed our native soil;
Our immigrants who came to live from places far and near,
Have pledged as our good citizens to hold our country dear.
Through good times and through bad times, in times of war and peace,
True heroes have stepped up to fight to keep our country free;
Our military dare to serve on ground and sea and air,
And we salute our veterans for their service everywhere!
Our country stands united, America is One,
And citizens can cast their votes for government they want;
We pray that our true leaders in our Capitol and states,
Will listen to their people and keep our country great.
Our American spirit is seen in our beauty here,
From the works of God's creations we love and hold so dear;
From our prairies and our mountains, to our forests, lakes and shores,
We're grateful for America, the land that we adore!
We hear our American spirit in songs we love to sing,
From our patriotic anthems that shout, "Let Freedom Ring!"
Our pride swells as parade bands pass, with music of our land,
And songs of other cultures that make our nation grand.
The tastes and scents of America are enjoyed by everyone,
From our seafood to our Cajun fare and burgers on a bun;
There's food from other countries that cannot be denied,
But nothing tastes 'American' like our juicy apple pies.
Our American spirit is felt in our human touch,
We reach to help our neighbors, lend hands that mean so much;
In trials and in sorrows we feel each other's pain,
And aid our brothers and sisters, till we are strong again.
America is proud to be the land of opportunity,
Where education is the key 'to be all we can be';
Where everyone can make their way and strive to do their best,
To work and earn a living, until we choose to rest.
Our All-American spirit lives in our hearts today,
Let's treasure our great country in each and every way;
With love and kindness may we work together every day,
So, let us cheer together, "GOD BLESS OUR U.S.A.!
The author lives in Eden.