Charlie Daniels: The place I'm most thankful for

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.