Monday, May 26, 2014

Broad Stripes and Bright Stars

Broad Stripes and Bright Stars
©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

We reverenced the flag when I was a young girl...
proud and strong we stood, hand over heart.
Deep emotions were raised as we saw it unfurl;
our allegiance was pledged from the start.

We were taught by our parents' example...
their knowledge that freedom was fragile at best.
They had seen evil threaten the world and
defeated it soundly when put to the test.

Liberty was an essence that sang in their blood
for the blood of brave countrymen slain,
and the flag was a symbol of all we had lost
and a tribute to all we retained.

From ocean to ocean, our voices were raised
in an anthem proclaiming our worth.
As heroes had given their all, so would we,
in upholding the land of our birth.

We honored the flag and the nation it stood for.
We sang, and we pledged, and we stood.
We were grateful enough to hold sacred a symbol
defining our country as good.

Today things are changing. So many young people
just watch the parade passing by.
They stay in their seats or stand carelessly slouched,
quite unstirred by our flag in the sky.

Our patriot songs are less known and less sung,
our allegiance less fervently vowed.
Cold winds of dissension blow harder each day,
and the roar of contention is loud.

If united we stand and divided we fall,
then survival demands common ground.
Our roots lie in legacies, planted by love
of the country our forefathers found.

True freedom is more than the right to dissent;
it's respect for the things we can share.
When the patriot dream seems elusive, our flag
carries hope that the dream is still there.

Those broad stripes and bright stars are reminders.
Embrace them. They help us to know who we are.
In peace or in conflict, they fly on a standard,
and we must keep raising the bar.

On Memorial Day, as we reverence our dead
and remember brave souls, let's be clear:
We live in a land that requires our devotion
and honor each day of the year.

A nation is fed by the people it nurtures,
and all of us drink the same cup.
Our stories are told in the symbols we share.
May every heart treasure them up.

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karen said...

Perfect verses for today and always. It never hurts to be reminded of all we're blessed with, and how much we have to lose if we're careless.

yaya said...

I love this beautifully said. This is always one of my favorite times of say thanks with parades and take time to remember all who gave their lives for us. I hope our children will be diligent in carrying that flag in honor...I'm just a bit worried.

jen said...

I grew up with a dad that always cried openly and unashamedly when the flag passed by or when "Battle Hymn" was sung.

I grew up loving freedom, liberty, and of course their symbol--Old Glory.

I grew up reverencing our Founding Fathers and the soldiers who defended our freedom.

I never outgrew these sentiments, and I don't understand those who did--or never understood.

This may be your most important poem yet. I wish all could read it and that those feelings of patriotism could be rekindled in all Americans.

Thank you, Sue.

Thank you.

Claudia Schlottman said...

This is such a lovely tribute, Sue. As always, your words ring with the music of truth. Thanks.

LeAnn said...

Oh my dear Sue; that was just lovely. These words are so true and it is sad to see that the younger generations do not have that deep love for our country. Our hope is that we can at least be an example to our children of our love for this great land.
Blessings and hugs for this sweet one.

GretchenJoanna said...

I love your poem. Thank you.

Brian Miller said...

i remember you posting something similar last year right? things have changed. we still do the pledge in school..and i make my kids either do the pledge or sit there quiet...htere are other teachers that let them talk through it....we did not even have a parade here in town...that sucks....

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful post and photo of the Flag for B ~ Happy W eekend to you ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Lmkazmierczak said...

Your prose rings true...talent and patriotism is a good combo♪

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

Stirring post! It saddens me that the Pledge is not repeated daily in our schools; our children are growing up without that feeling of honor, except maybe on the ball field.

Leovi said...

A wonderful poem , yes, there is strength !

Lola said...

Such a wonderful tribute.

Many thanks for stopping by - and have a lovely weekend!

Deborah Baroff said...

well said!
I saw family and friends and was grateful for being alive {:-D

Gail said...


Absolutely beautiful. We must remember "to stand for something or we'll fall for anything".

Reverence for the flag and what it represents is so rare these days. It's sad.

My ancestors were not born here but came from many different countries. They were proud to become Americans and give the symbol its due respect.

You have reached in my heart and said what I wanted to say but had no talent to speak.

God Bless America!!!

And thank you, Sue, for honoring our fallen

Annesphamily said...

A very beautiful share Sue! Thank you for this writing. It made me smile. We are truly blessed, Have a beautiful weekend.

Gattina said...

A beautiful post !

Cristina Pop said...

What a lovely poem!

Jenny said...




This was truly beautiful!

I love the rhythm of your poetry.

And the poignancy of your beautiful words!

Thank you for linking.


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