Happy Fourth of July!

Cape Breton Post - - ADVICE/LIESTYLES - Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

Dear Read­ers: Happy Fourth of July! Here’s one of our fa­vorite pieces, orig­i­nally writ­ten in 1955 as a public re­la­tions ad­ver­tise­ment for the Nor­folk and Western Rail­way com­pany mag­a­zine (now the Nor­folk South­ern Cor­po­ra­tion) and up­dated in 1976. Although some of the sta­tis­tics have changed over the years, the sen­ti­ment re­mains the same:

“I Am the Na­tion” by Otto Whit­taker

I was born on July 4, 1776, and the Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence is my birth cer­tifi­cate. The blood­lines of the world run in my veins, be­cause I of­fered free­dom to the op­pressed. I am many things and many peo­ple. I am the na­tion.

I am 250 mil­lion liv­ing souls -- and the ghost of mil­lions who have lived and died for me. I am Nathan Hale and Paul Re­vere. I stood at Lex­ing­ton and fired the shot heard around the world. I am Washington, Jef­fer­son and Pa­trick Henry. I am John Paul Jones, the Green Moun­tain Boys and Davy Crockett. I am Lee and Grant and Abe Lin­coln.

I re­mem­ber the Alamo, the Maine and Pearl Har­bor. When free­dom called, I an­swered and stayed un­til it was over, over there. I left my heroic dead in Flan­ders Field, on the rock of Cor­regi­dor, on the bleak slopes of Korea and in the steam­ing jun­gle of Viet­nam.

I am the Brook­lyn Bridge, the wheat lands of Kansas and the gran­ite hills of Ver­mont. I am the coal­fields of the Vir­ginias and Penn­syl­va­nia, the fer­tile lands of the West, the Golden Gate and the Grand Canyon. I am In­de­pen­dence Hall, the Mon­i­tor and the Mer­ri­mac.

I am big. I sprawl from the At­lantic to the Pa­cific — my arms reach out to em­brace Alaska and Hawaii. I am more than five mil­lion farms. I am for­est, field, moun­tain and desert. I am quiet vil­lages — and cities that never sleep.

You can look at me and see Ben Franklin walk­ing down the streets of Philadelphia with his bread­loaf un­der his arm. You can see Betsy Ross with her nee­dle. You can see the lights of Christ­mas and hear the strains of “Auld Lang Syne” as the cal- en­dar turns.

I am Babe Ruth and the World Se­ries. I am 110,000 schools and col­leges and 330,000 churches where my peo­ple wor­ship God as they think best. I am a bal­lot dropped into a box, the roar of a crowd in a sta­dium and the voice of a choir in a cathe­dral. I am an ed­i­to­rial in a news­pa­per and a let­ter to a Con­gress­man.

I am Eli Whit­ney and Stephen Foster. I am Tom Edi­son, Al­bert Ein­stein and Billy Graham. I am Ho­race Gree­ley, Will Rogers and the Wright Broth­ers. I am Ge­orge Washington Carver, Jonas Salk and Martin Luther King Jr.

I am Longfel­low, Har­riet Beecher Stowe, Walt Whit­man and Thomas Paine.

Yes, I am the na­tion and these are the things that I am. I was con­ceived in free­dom and, God will­ing, in free­dom I will spend the rest of my days.

May I pos­sess al­ways the in­tegrity, the courage and the strength to keep my­self un­shack­led, to re­main a ci­tadel of free­dom and a bea­con of hope to the world. An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please

email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@cre­ators.com, or write to: An­nie’s Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate, 737 3rd Street, Her­mosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find An­nie on Face­book at Face­book.com/AskAn­nies. To find out more about An­nie’s Mail­box and read fea­tures by other Cre­ators Syn­di­cate writ­ers and car­toon­ists, visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate Web page at www.cre­ators.com. COPY­RIGHT 2015 CRE­ATORS.COM

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