I just dropped everything about thirty minutes ago and have been thinking as I stare at a blank computer screen.  My mind has been consumed with trying to comprehend the fears, sacrifices and hopes of those who, over two and a quarter centuries ago, watched their loved ones depart to take on the very toughest of odds in fighting a war to secure our most fundamental freedoms.  Freedoms that have been enjoyed by only a tiny fraction of the 110 billion human beings who have inhabited this planet.  Freedoms that must forever be protected from destructive forces that go far beyond the terrorists and tyrants of our times.

It is remarkable that, as a nation, we’ve been able to hang on to these fragile freedoms in a world where powerful forces have always sought to rule and control those who long to be cared for and protected.  We owe it all to the strength of the American spirit of every prior generation.  It’s a spirit that causes freedom-lovers to mightily reject those who promise an easier, less-free way of facing the pressures, challenges and uncertainties of this mortal existence.  It’s the same spirit that, once again, will save our nation from daunting challenges that threaten the underpinning of our cherished freedoms.

Why all this reflection?  Thirty minutes ago I received out of the blue the following Revolutionary War poem from my 10-year-old granddaughter.  It got me thinking.  And it lifted my spirits as it reaffirmed the promise of America’s youth.  With Lauren’s permission, I offer her poem to you on this day that we celebrate our nation’s independence.

My Revolutionary War Poem

Hidden With Hope

Behind a little shelf I stare

Into smoky gun-powdered filled air

Sounds of war go off with a boom

And I pray the fighting’s over soon

Fighting for freedom is our cause

We will never stop rebelling because

The Crown is making moves unfair

Sprouting arguments here and there

Us Patriots are creating a new Nation

Britain over there signing Proclamations

America one day will be free

Chock-full of liberty

You’ll find it in every nook and notch

So with hope I now watch

War going on, fierce bloody war

I know that we won’t be ruled anymore

By unfair rulers

Making unfair laws

Making us angry

That’s their only flaw

But now I realize

Just right now

Anyhow

That the war isn’t us hanging onto a breaking rope

But it is just our troops fighting with hope

And figuring that out now

Just might change my thoughts now

My rope is all fresh, my strong little rope

And here I hide,

Hidden with hope.

                                                                                                                              Lauren Drake, age 10

First Published July 4, 2011