Patriot’s Day Ride 2011 : Old Plank Road Trail

How Do You Observe A Day Like Today?

Crossing The Bridge Into Frankfort, IL

Many of the folks we heard cheering along the trail were watching a football game. One lady we passed was listening to a game on her transistor radio as she rode her bike. When we left the trail for home we stopped in Naperville for a bite to eat. Streaming past us were hundreds of folks returning from a Patriot’s Day Service held by the town near the Carillon.

The families of those lost on September, 11 2001 held services at the various venues where the horrible plane crashes occurred and everyone paused to remember. It would be nice to live in a world where hatred was not so ubiquitous. Where violence was the exception rather than the rule. Where cooperation and collaboration were the watchwords in our daily lives, our politics as well as the workplace.

My fervent prayer is that the palpable fear and anger that has seemingly gripped us as we now fall upon one another in the political realm will subside. We need cool heads for the future economic struggles that are ahead of us. We need an America that is less strident, less divisive, less fearful and more willing to embrace the best in each other.

What Should We Sound Like?

2-17 America The Beautiful (performed by Ray Charles) (Click to Play)

America the Beautiful
Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
Melody by Samuel Ward

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man’s avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!