“While the storm clouds gather
Far across the sea
Let us pledge allegiance
To a land that’s free
In 1938, storm clouds blackened over Europe and spread with the rise of Germany’s dictator, Adolph Hitler.
In America, the same year, with tension rising and the country divided about whether to stand with allies, songwriter Irving Berlin gave us “God Bless America,” a prayerful anthem for peace. Popular singer Kate Smith made it her signature song and Americans made it a hymn.
“Let us all be grateful for a land so fair
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer . . .”
Back then, America tried to avoid an escalating global war even as we watched Hitler ravage Europe, but when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, it became our war. It cost us more than 400,000 brave warriors and four years of conflict, but we won.
Today, the storm clouds gather again. Even to my naïve eye and non-political brain I know recent world events will have serious impact on America’s role and her future. Is another global war likely?
It depends on powerful leaders with short fuses and immense egos.
Here at home we have internal problems.
Division. Those who make laws and decisions for us can’t find common ground, so there are no solutions to:
Gun violence. Every day there’s a new story. Every day senseless lives lost.
Drugs. Too many are addicted. Too many die.
Increasing rise in the homeless and destitute. Many are veterans. Why?
Fear. We keep our children close to keep them safe from predators and dropped needles. We tuck concealed weapons in purses and pockets just in case. Our homes have security cameras and we lock our doors, even when we’re there. Strangers are not welcome and we look at anyone walking near our homes after dark with suspicion.
And probably in what should be the safest place anywhere — our schools — we have guards with guns and practice lockdowns, alert to the possibility of a school shooter.
“God Bless America.
Land that I love”
Do you think we’ve forgotten that our founding fathers built our country on Christian moral values? That if they found it necessary to include God in the building of our nation, it’s just as necessary to include Him today?
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
Maybe it’s time to ask for wisdom for our country’s leaders, and blessings for our country.
From the mountains
To the prairies
To the ocean white with foam
God Bless America
My home sweet home.”