Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Friday, November 11, 2011

America, Our Home

Apparently I should have gone back and read last year's post from Veterans Day.  Perhaps then I would have better prepared myself to be choking back tears as I attempted to lead my students in their prepared songs.  My traditionally cold-hearted self just can't seem to adjust to the feelings of patriotism, pride, and reverence that a heartfelt performance of a patriotic song can inspire.

It doesn't even seem to matter to me what song.  Looking out at a sea of students singing "The Star Spangled Banner," watching hands on hearts and eyes on the flag, but seeing also that they aren't just going through the motions.  Listening to my first graders sing the horribly-high-for-them rendition of "America the Beautiful," watching the third grade proudly wave flags through "You're a Grand Old Flag," and beaming with pride as the 6th grade delivered the lesser-known "Children of Today."  Add to the emotion the fact that I lost my voice weeks ago and just can't seem to get it back, I definitely mouthed more words today than I sang.

But the part I'm learning to look forward to is hearing the words from the students.  For example:

"Veterans may not have x-ray vision, super strengths, or the ability to fly, but they have what matters.  They possess the values that ensure our country remains free."  Yep.  Chills even as I type it.

"The cost of war can be so extreme that some veterans are unable to tell their own stories."

"Freedom is not free.  Its cost is time, courage, and love."

Of course I am proud to be an American.  But on days like today, I am proud to get to interact with this new and rising generation at a school which values and emphasizes patriotism.

These guys aren't my music students anymore; they are Navigator Pointe Academy's 7th grade choir.  I'm not going to pretend that their notes are perfect; they aren't.  But they stood to sing today, facing a stage full of veterans, and delivered words that I knew they meant.  I couldn't help but be touched.

"America, our home, America, our land,
Our hearts fill with pride as humbly we stand.
We honor our flag, the red, white and blue.
America, there is no greater land, no land like you.

America, our home, oh, you have been blessed.
There's bounty untold.  You've given your best.
A beautiful land where dreams can come true,
America, there is no greater land, no land like you."


Evette Mendisabal said...

gave me goosebumps and I'm not even an American citizen! Thanks for sharing.