America 9/11

On this, the eve of the 4th of July, I want to share the lyrics one of the songs I have written about freedom. If you are reading this, you probably know that I cherish the freedom we have as Americans. I also feel that we are losing that freedom, bit by bit.

I first wrote this song in the early 1980s, when Japan was kicking our butts economically. At that time, Japan was buying up some of our greatest resources. So, the first version of these lyrics dealt with the loss of many of the landmarks we hold most dear. The same thing is happening with China today. They just bought the rights to Hummer. They bought the rights to IBM PCs. They control the Panama Canal. They bought Global Crossing, which controls much of our international communications.

I altered the lyrics in 2001, after the 9/11 attacks. This is the version you will read below.

This song frames freedom in an historical context, denoting the sacrifices others have made, and the gradual erosion to our freedoms over time. 9/11 chipped away at our freedom even more.

Terrorism steals our freedom daily. Fighting it absorbs our resources. It spreads fear and robs us of our emotional well-being. If we do not address this issue today, while terrorism remains mostly off our shores, we may face it here, in ways that will make 9/11 seem like child’s play. Make not doubt, there are those that will try to detonate nuclear warheads in this country, just as they use car bombs today.

© Jay Lumbert
America 9/11

When I was just a boy
My dad would set me on his knee.
He’d say,
“Son, in this great land
You can be all you want to be.
Our nation’s based on freedom,
Trust, and opportunity,
And there’s nothing
That will hold you back,
From sea to shining sea.”

Our forefathers gave their lives
In the Revolutionary War.
And Abe Lincoln did the same
For the slaves we’d brought onto our shores.
They fought against the Kaiser,
And then Hitler and Japan.
And it was all so that their children
Could live in the Promised Land.

America the beautiful,
For amber waves of grain,
So giving and so dutiful,
Above thy fruited plains.
When I’d pledge allegiance to the flag
I would stand up tall and proud.
But America,
Where are you now?

It’s plain to see, democracy
Is envied by the world.
We raise our heads with pride
Whenever the Stars and Stripes unfurl
But our carefree way of life
Gets shaken to its very core
When terrorists use freedom
As their tool to wage a war.

What’s happened to our liberty?
Did we let it slip away?
Or was it stolen while we
Chose to look the other way?
We used to be a beacon
Shining bright for all to see,
Not sifting through our ashes,
Looking back at Old Glory.

Today we face the choices
Our forefathers had to make
There are those that question if
We still have all it’s going to take.
The sacrifice, commitment
And the will to see it through
And the faith we will prevail
No matter what our foes may do.

America, stand up and fight,
Or we’ll give it all away.
Freedom’s earned,
It’s not a right.
We must pay for it each day.
We can’t earn freedom
Wishing things were as they used to be.
And then sitting back while terrorists
Take shots at liberty.

We all must band together
And there’s so much to be done.
We must all declare a war until
Our victory is won.
Every worker, mother, father, child
Must sit down hand in hand,
And roll up their sleeves,
Together, we can resurrect our land!

America, stand up and fight,
Don’t forfeit all you’ve won.
Our freedom’s running out of sight,
There’s so much to be done.
But there’s nothing that can stop us,
Don’t believe the things they say.
We’ve overcome far greater odds,
We are the USA!

We’ve overcome far greater odds,
We are the USA!

We’ve overcome far greater odds,
We are the USA! © Jay Lumbert

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