America The Beautiful


I read something today in Montana on a printed sign in a craft shop. It was titled: “You know you are from Montana …..”


  • When people you don’t know smile and say “Howdy” (found that to be true).
  • When major county fund-raiser isn’t bingo – it’s sausage making or a raffle where all the locals produce contributions to raise money for town and county needs like fire departments, etc (had one in Bigfork since we have been here – they are unincorporated and this is how everyone does their part).
  • When, unlike folks in other states, even when you live there you’ve been to Glacier Park, Yellowstone, Custer’s Battlefield, and at least one pow wow in your lifetime. (So true – there are a number of historical places in Mississippi I have not been yet).
  • When you think nothing of an elk, buffalo, moose, or other wild life wandering through town (seen it!)
  • You know the meaning of “purple mountain majesties” and “amber waves of grain”.


We have certainly seen the last one on our trip here. Today we rode around the southern end of the park to East Glacier (stopping at the Glacier Lodge) and St Mary (stopping at St Mary Lodge for lunch and then spending some time skipping rocks and just chilling down by St Mary Lake). We then drove the remaining length of the Going to the Sun Road back to West Glacier via Logan’s Pass stopping at Apgar Village for some ice cream and to check out their local crafts center (not unlike what we have in Mississippi on Rice Road) before returning to Bigfork.
 

As we drove past Two Medicine Lake, Lake St Mary, Lake McDonald, the Swan River, the Middle and South (I think) Forks of the Flathead River and on down to Flathead Lake where we are staying, we passed field after field where they are harvesting grain (I have no pictures of that but plan to get one). It is perfectly golden swaying in the breeze.
 

All of this brought to mind, America the Beautiful. My Dad has said all my life this should be our National Anthem, and I agree. On the eve of this, the tenth anniversary of 9-11, I thought it appropriate to relook at some of these words. I will admit as I sat on the rocks at Lake St Mary today in the peace and quiet I thought, too, why cannot our world be like this – at peace. And I pray that God will shed his grace again on us.








Jackson Glacier – one of the few remaining active glaciers in GNP

Lake St Mary – looking westward

His shirt did not help MSU today!

Bonnie’s new friend (her Auburn shirt was good luck!)

Front of Glacier Park Lodge

Interior of Glacier Park Lodge

America the Beautiful

Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
Melody by Samuel Ward

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man’s avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee! 

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