From The Redwood Forests..

Sequoia National Park, CA – The Mighty Redwoods

Until you have been up close and personal with a mammoth redwood tree you just don’t understand the majesty of them. My most recent encounter with them was in the Sequoia National Forest. Yes, that is me in the picture. I don’t think redwoods grow anywhere else in the world so they are very American.  I am a firm believer that we should change the national anthem to Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land. I “From the redwood forests to the Gulf stream waters” shows the heart of America much more than a puny sea battle of an 1812 military conflict. I wonder what it would take to get that done?

Our National Anthem….

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Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I don’t imagine there are many citizens of this country who don’t know the words above by heart. They are sung at the opening of most sporting events and other public meeting.  Some even know that Francis Scott Key wrote the words about the bombardment of Fort Henry in 1814. This war was officially called the War of 1812 where the British were once again trying to get their colonies in line. 🙂

We, like most others, are a nation who is generally defined by our wars. The War of 1812 hardly makes much notice anymore. Now to finally get on to the main topic of this post, I think it is about time for us to get a new national anthem. Maybe one that exalts our virtues as a country in the 21st century instead of our wars of the past. Maybe if we can get our minds off of all our wars we can prevent a few future ones. We shouldn’t be celebrating our wars; we should be mourning them and all the dead kids that they cause.

There are at least a hand full of very likely candidates in this area but my favorite is:

This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
As I was walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me.
I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me.
When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.