Once again, Pike County native and friend Beatrice McNeal-Drummond, now of Ross County, has written the following poem that expresses mainly my feelings for our country.

A place where I can freely visit wherever my feet would take me ... where I can go to the church of my choice to worship in my own way and learn of the One who created this wonderful, unique, mysterious world of ours ... a place where I can go and sit along a quiet stream and suddenly become a poet, for there are so many things in nature to inspire one’s soul ... a place where I can study for a life’s vocation of my own choosing ... and where we can choose our national leaders by voting.

My America ... where fields of grain ripen in the sun and await the time of harvest ... a place where rivers wind their way to the oceans ... where our giant jet planes leave their white trails across the heavens ... where trees don their autumn wardrobes of red, orange, yellow and brown ... where I can walk in the woods and every tree becomes my friend because it provides shelter for me ... where the white waves dash our seashores and fling their spray to the winds ... where the canyons of the West change color constantly and where our national parks offer a place of relaxation to weary vacationers and travelers ... where a lone eagle soars from its nest in the lofty crags and becomes a national symbol exemplifying freedom and beauty.

Where the prairies once were roamed by the great buffalo herds ... where Indian scouts once stood their vigil in the midst of our great forests ... where canal boats once traveled the waterways with their cargoes ... where battles have been fought and recorded for future generations to read ... where the uniforms of our armed forces have earned respect, and those who view them stand a little taller and feel a certain mark of pride ... where pioneers in covered wagons once blazed a trail in their search for new homesteads ... where small towns turn into great cities with giant skyscrapers crowding the pathway to the clouds.

When I see Old Glory flying in the breeze, it brings a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat, because I know it represents my country and me. It is a symbol of freedom, beauty and history. May God always keep it flying over this land that I call home, and may we always be one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!

From “Ideals Countryside” Issue.

I remember well, when aboard my Navy ship, the destroyer U.S.S. Bache DD470, as we steamed into New York’s Harbor and past the Statue of Liberty how the sight of that symbol tugged at my heart. This was in June 1958 and the ship was returning to the site of its building.

I hope you all will reflect on the nation we live in and count your blessings.

On another note: the Dailyville Heritage Days will be held the Saturday following the 4th of July.

The photo was taken at Veterans Memorial Park on Nov. 11, 2016 as the flag

was raised.

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