Hot dogs, apple pie, and the rewording of a patriotic song

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Rev. Walter Klockers

So, how was your Fourth of July? What did you do? Did you light off fireworks? Perhaps you just watched some other folks do so? (It is a lot less expensive that way.)

Did you have family and friends over for a get-together? If so, did you have some food off the grill like hamburgers and hot dogs?

Truth is that there are many ways to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Amid such celebrations, we are repeatedly reminded to use common sense in doing so. Fireworks should be used responsibly and with safety in mind.

Unfortunately, there are those, despite the warnings, that may be careless in the use of fireworks. Hospital emergency rooms are usually kept very busy on or around this holiday. Some lessons are learned the hard way.

Besides cookouts and fireworks, patriotic songs play a part of our 4th of July celebrations.

One’s personal taste in music may differ, so I’ll list several for you to find a possible favorite.

There are more contemporary songs to consider, like Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” If you like Country music, you might give a vote for Dierks Bentley singing “Home,” or perhaps Billy Ray Cyrus’ “I’m American.” Lee Greenwood’s voice compliments the words of “Proud to be an American” so very well.

Then there are more traditional songs, like “My Country ’tis of Thee,” “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America,” just to name a few.

Personally, I have two favorites from the above list – “Born in the U.S.A.” and “God Bless America.”

However, truth be known, I wish that my traditional music choice were worded differently. Instead of “God Bless America,” I favor switching two words to make a new title: “America Bless God.”

I think this would be a very good reminder that we, as a people, need to be mindful of our actions. My prayer is that they reflect what God would have us do – first and foremost – keeping God’s values in the forefront of our minds.

So, “America Bless God,” and have a safe weekend as our celebrations continue.

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.

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