When I was nine we practiced a bicentennial program in our elementary school. As part of the program a teacher was explaining the verses of ‘America the Beautiful’.
“How beautiful for patriot dream,
That sees beyond the years,
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears.
How beautiful for heroes, proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self, their country loved,
And mercy more than life.”
She explained that the phrase ‘undimmed by human tears’ meant that we had never had an attack of a city on American soil.
Photo Daniel Hulshizer AP
On the morning of September 11th 2001 that changed with the vicious attack of innocent people in our country.
President George W. Bush declared the following Friday a National Day of Prayer.
I was worried for my family and my country. I needed the consolation of prayer too. I watched the prayer ceremonies on television that day and said a few of my own. I will never forget God’s power and the unity that I felt with my fellow Americans that day. Despite all the horrible occurrences I felt that we were in God’s hands and he was still in control.
That day I wrote a few verses of my own for America the Beautiful, with one chorus at the end.
(To the tune and meter of the verses of America the Beautiful. ‘Oh beautiful, for spacious skies………)
How deep the grief that turns our heart,
The tears that bend the knee,
The ache that pulls us close again,
And closer still to Thee.
The trembling, halting, breaking voice,
In songs we’ve always known,
Though eyes divert we can’t help see,
The hollow in our home.
For souls who flooded heaven’s door,
That ever darkened hour,
Encircled by Thy angel host,
Encircled by Thy power.
God grasp thy quaking hand!
And wash us pure, as we secure
Thy freedom for this land!