(Author's Note: Today, Friday, marks the 238th birthday of the United States of America. She became independent from Britain on July 4th, 1776. God bless America always!
As a tribute to The Land of the Free World, here's my poem, Fourth of July, which originally appeared on July 5, 1991, in Sandpointer (an authorized weekly newsletter/publication of then Naval Station Puget Sound (NSPS), Seattle, WA, where the budding poet/writer was stationed as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman, at then Naval Medical Seattle, WA). The poem also appeared in 1995, in the poetry anthology book, Walk through Paradise, published by The National Poetry Library in Maryland, USA. It was registered in the United States Copyright Office, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC, on December 23, 1997, along with the author's other poems such as In Loving Memory, The Stars and Stripes, It's Summertime, A Tribute to All Veterans, LOVE is..., and Brother Jesus.)
Fourth of July
I was born on the Fourth of July.
Each year, I celebrate my Freedom,
My Independence and Liberty
Cherished and enjoyed by all
My people of different colors
From all corners of the world
Who desire to live with me,
To share with me their hopes,
Their sentiments and frustrations,
Their dreams and aspirations
To make the world a better place,
To let others live and be free
United and liberated, like me---
The United States of America!
With pride and power
Valor and vigilance,
I celebrate my birthday
With fond memories of my past,
My history that I inherited
From my forebears and forefathers;
The history that I wrought
For all my generations to keep.
With spectacular fireworks all around
And parade of colors here and there...
My Independence reigns everywhere
And I exult with glee and jubilation;
With open arms and loving heart
I welcome all who seek refuge,
Who long for peace and brotherhood
Offering each and everyone my freedom,
Justice, liberty, and equality,
Power, prosperity, and security,
Pride, beauty, and democracy,
Wishing all a fair and equal share
Of all my blessings from Above!
Today is a very special day
To commemorate my independence;
A day of unity and victory
A day of remembering our men and women
Who sacrificed their lives
From wars fought and won,
From crises overcome and resolved;
A day of thanksgiving
To those who served and are serving me,
Protecting me and others' lives,
Keeping me strong and always ready
To watch, save, and lead our world!
Happy Fourth of July!
-Copyright 2014 by Chris A. Quilpa
-Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.Visit his blog at onebudding poet/writer-chris.blogspot.com
*Published in the award-winning Suffolk News-Herald, online edition (July 3, 2014), and print edition (July 4-5, 2014). For more information, visit www.suffolknewsherald.com