"My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrims' pride!
From ev'ry mountainside,
Let freedom ring!"
by:
Rev. Samuel Francis Smith
(1808-1895) Baptist minister, journalist, author
Source:
America, first stanza of song also known as My Country 'Tis of Thee
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Reader comments about this quote:
We used to sing this every morning in elementary school. Do you think they still do that today?
 -- E Archer, NYC     
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    On both parents sides, I have ancestors that fought in the War of Independence and these words do have special and personal meaning to me.
     -- MIke, Norwalk     
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    Makes you want to weep how far away Americans have gotten from such noble sentiments. My family has been taught we're descendants of John and Priscilla Alden, Mayflower Pilgrims.
     -- David Ben-Ariel, Toledo, Ohio     
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    Freedom, we may regain some if and when we vote out the thugs which mostly infect the Congress today.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
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    These are some of the most beautiful words ever written for and about a country. Are we up to the task of preserving the unalienable rights from God that are enumerated in the law of our land, our Constitution? When asked what the Founders had given us, Benjamin Franklin said, "A Republic, if you can keep it." That is the only way that Freedom will continue to ring throughout this land. My family's heritage is German and Welsh, but I AM an American!
     -- Carol, Georgia     
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    They should sing the true story of how we genocide the indigenous population and how we bought, brought, and killed slaves, and how we gave (on purpose) diseases to the Indians. O yes, we have a lot to be proud of, and the killing and destruction continues.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    While loving the song and the sentiment I also understand and appreciate RBESRQ's timely reminder that we are very much less than perfect. The question that we failed to ask then and now is "what are we doing wrong". Like unsafe oil drilling practices, asking future generations to pay higher taxes and shirking our own responsibilites. My father is a direct descendant of a man who came to Massachusetts in 1625, my great-great grandfather was killed at Chancellorsville on the Southern side, his son my grandfather Martin Van Buren Reidling was wounded there. Numerous members of my family and myself have served in the US Military. Happy fourth to all!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    The time of faith for those faithful men and women at any given time to rally around there salvation, spiritual and phisical. A nation of believers nit together in a common cause. Some have a clearer line of heritage than others. The fight is true and just. Tax not your childrens bed. The right to person and property has been sold by slight of law and greediness of gain a little over a hundred and fifty years ago. The lest amount of burden upon your citizens is not good for big buisness. But the mule is old and wore out, so there must be a change. Government has reigned us in. How do we reign government in. Naturally, dispersing care. But the door must be opened. One thing I learned of serving my nation. The sincerity of faith to God and the constitution. I know who my God is, what he has done for me and where he has given me to take my stand. Many thriving farming and ranching communities were destroyed in the name of progress. Rights taken away, stolen by a few, in the community and in the local and federal government. Men an women in our government and in our military should know which God our nation was founded under and where we derive our rights to freedom. Let there be unity in the ranks.
     -- Ron, s     
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    It's hard to enjoy this song, when our country has become so rotten. I cry when I hear this song, knowing that the founding fathers fought and died to create this nation. What they fought for was meant to be for the good of humanity, not become the bane of it.
     -- Johann Hollar, St Paul     
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    As a 21 year Veteran of the US Armed Forces, an ordained female minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the nobel descendant of former African slaves, I AM humbled and honored to sing this great National hymn at the 2012 Washington DC National Memorial Day Parade. I honor Rev Samuel Francis Smith for his obedience to the Holy Spirit's voice when he was lead to pen an anthem to glorify Father God our King and his gracious gift to us called "freedom"! I will ensure to play my role on Monday as I let my voice echo this cry through the atmosphere for all who have an ear to hear for the glory of God in the mighty name of Jesus. I AM Minister Lady Pleshette Denise Greggs, SFC US Army
     -- Min Lady Pleshette Denise Greggs: SFC US Army, Pawleys Island, SC     
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