The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

America the Beautiful

On July 10th, 2017, posted in: Just Because, Uncategorized by

flag and sunsetHave you ever driven to a destination and didn’t remember the drive? That was me this past week — on July 3, to be exact. I got to work, thought about the route just traveled and realized that I didn’t remember a thing about it. I was safe, I guess due to subconscious thought, because my conscious mind was on “America the Beautiful.” It always happens this time of year as the celebration of Independence Day deepens my convictions regarding patriotism and freedom. Man, do I love this country.

The song “America the Beautiful” is one of the best, and in my humble opinion, it should not be allowed to be sung by anyone other than Ray Charles. Mr. Charles is no longer with us. Thankfully, www.youtube.com has multiple renditions, none of which are tired or trite. As long as YouTube exists, there will be no other voice or soul that extracts such meaning from the lyrics. All songs have words, but some songs you feel. I feel this one.

Driving to work, I was singing and sounding great (in my mind). Ray and I were a duet, both of us pouring out the emotion that made for no conscious thought as to what I was doing. But for God’s blessings, I made it to work. I sang the song up the steps into my office until I could log on and watch a video of “The Man” himself doing his timeless, soulful version. If you’ve got five or seven minutes, do yourself a favor and log on.

Oh beautiful, for heroes proved,

In liberating strife,

Who more than self our country loved,

And mercy more than life,

America, America, may God thy gold refine,

Till all success be nobleness,

And every gain divined.

You want the definition of Independence Day, read these beautiful lyrics.  Long before you get to the second verse (“…spacious skies, amber waves of grain, purple mountains majesty, above the fruited plains…”), take a good, hard look at that poetic first verse.

Independence Day is about freedom. Freedom achieved through heroes that liberated us from strife. Heroes that loved our country more than themselves and wanted mercy for us all more than their own life.

When Ray sings it, he has church. “America, America, God shed His grace on thee…”

That’s a prayer where I come from. More than ever, I wish Ray was alive to remind us just one more time about how beautiful America really is — live and unfiltered. Church.

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