As one who has been blessed with visiting every nook, cranny, corner and crevice of this greatest of nations, I have developed a deep and abiding love, and yes, a special kind of pride for my beautiful country.
I still get misty eyed when I hear a moving rendition of our national anthem or stand on a street corner at some small town fourth of July parade and no matter how many times I see it, the sight of the Grand Canyon can still take my breath away.
America, there's no place like it, never has been, never will and I'm so thankful to call it home....
Have you ever spent the late afternoon
No Eiffel Tower, no Taj Mahal, no Alps, no Andes No native hut, nor royal palace can rival her awesome beauty, her diverse population, her monolithic majesty.
Watching the purple shadows deepen in the Arizona desert?
Or seen a herd of elk plough their way
Through waist deep snow on a cold Colorado morning?
Did you ever see the sun go down in Hawaii
Or seen the stormy waves break over the rockbound coast of Maine
Or have you ever seen an eagle fly up out of the mists of Alaska
Or a big October moon hanging full over the still Dakota badlands?
Have you ever tasted the gumbo in New Orleans, barbecue in Carolina
Or the chicken wings in Buffalo?
Have you ever had Brunswick stew in Macon or cornbread in Birmingham?
Or briskets slow cooked over hill country mesquite wood?
Did you ever drink the water from a gurgling branch in Utah
Or stand on the mountain above El Paso Del Norte?
And see the lights twinkling clear over into Mexico
Did you ever jingle horses in the pre dawn stillness of a perfect Texas day
And watch their shod hooves kicking up sparks on the volcanic rock?
Or tended a trot line on a foggy Carolina morning,
Or heard the distant love song of a lovesick whippoorwill
On a pristine Tennessee late night?
Have you seen the faces on Mount Rushmore or stood at the Vietnam monument?
Have you ever crossed the mighty Mississippi,
Or been to the Daddy of ‘Em All in Cheyenne, Wyoming
Or seen the mighty Vols run out on the football field on a chilly autumn afternoon?
Did you ever see the Chicago skyline from Lakeshore Drive at night
Or the New England foliage in the fall?
Or the summer beauty of the Shenandoah Valley,
Or Indiana covered with new snow?
Did you ever see a herd of wild horses running free
Across the empty spaces of Nevada?
Or caught a walleyed pike out of a cold Wisconsin stream?
Or marveled at the tall ships docked in the harbor at Baltimore?
Did you ever see the early morning dew sparkling on the bluegrass
Or the wind stir the wheat fields on a hot Kansas afternoon?
Or driven the lonely stretches of old Route 66?
Have you ever heard the church bells peal their call to worship
On an early Sunday, in some small town in the deep South?
Or passed through the Redwood Forest just as the sun was going down
Have you ever been to Boise or Baxley or Beaufort or Billings?
Have you ever passed through Sanford or Suffolk or San Angelo
Have you ever seen the falls at Niagara
The Ice Palace in Saint Paul
Or the Gateway to the West?
This then is America!
The land God blesses with everything
And no Taj Mahal,
No Alps, No Andes
No native hut, nor Royal Palace
Can rival her awesome beauty,
Her diverse population, her monolithic majesty.
America the Free...
America the Mighty...
America the Beautiful.
A musician, singer and songwriter during his 50+ year career, Charlie Daniels has scored hits on the rock, country, pop and Christian charts, receiving numerous accolades, including induction into the Grand Ole Opry and Musicians Hall of Fame, the Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music and as a BMI Icon in recognition of his songwriting. In 2014, Daniels co-founded The Journey Home Project, a not-for-profit organization, that assists in securing funds to help causes that benefit veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Visit him at www.charliedaniels.com.