We hold these truths …

* Editor’s note: This original poetic essay, also including sung excerpts from classic patriotic songs, was written and presented by Eve West Bessier, poet laureate of the city of Davis, for the 2013 Fourth of July celebration.

By Eve West Bessier

“Oh, beautiful for spacious skies and amber waves of grain
For purple mountains majesty above the fruited plain …”

(from: “America the Beautiful,” by Katharine Lee Bates)

If generously planted are the virtues of equality and dignity for all,
Then our country is a fertile ground, expounding liberty,
Extending leverage for forward thinking and responsible progress.

In plain sight, we must behold and expose
All obstacles that keep us small or constricted to outmoded doctrine.

We must expand our vision and action to inspire
The genuine empowerment of an expanding global community.

“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 …”

(from “This Land is Your Land,” by Woody Guthrie)

We unite again as a people
Motivated by the roots of democracy,
Which are justice and compassion.

We hold these truths to be self-evident
That all of us are created equal
With a birthright to live with dignity
To be respected as citizens of a noble nation.

My country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing …”

(from: “My Country ‘tis of Thee,” by Samuel F. Smith)

Let us sing then, not from a sentimental patriotism,
But from a genuine love of homeland
Springing forth from a desire to express ideals in action.

To hold, to foster, to germinate such ideals

In the rich soil of grassroots representation,
And of selfless community service.

“Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light …”

(from “The Star Spangled Banner,” by Francis Scott Key)

A Renaissance of our nation
Welcoming the tempest tossed
To our shores as the very harbingers of our revival.

“What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming…”

(from “The Star Spangled Banner,” by Francis Scott Key)

Let us extol then our flag, our red, white and blue valor
As a standard, as a symbol of what we stand for and stand behind.
Let it represent our heartfelt celebration of diversity,
Our renewed dedication to uphold our nation
To a higher standard and nobler cause.

We the people remind ourselves today
Of the essential core of democracy,
The essential core, which is stated
both simply and profoundly as:

We the people!


Special to The Enterprise

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