I fly from the highest staffs....guard the world's greatest ships...adorn the walls of countless schoolrooms and I am etched in the heart of every American.
I have seen many things since I was first created. The birth and growth of a great Nation; a Nation divided in a great civil conflict; and that nation united in two World Wars, when foreign lands were stained red with the blood of America's youth.
Mine eyes have seen grief and joy, hate and love, success and failure. Wars have saddened me, peace has gladdened my spirit, prosperity has strengthened me and depression has darkened the sun which enshrines me.
Men have betrayed the trust I have placed in them. They have abused the freedoms which I represent. But I look not for the bad, I see not defeat. That is why I fly from such lofty heights, so that I may see the good about me and look over horizons and see a future which my subjects cannot vision.
At the close of each day when I am lowered from my staff, my proud body bows down and I give a prayer of thanks to Almighty God, for without His guidance, i could not have survived the troubled past and I need Him to guide me through the ever changing future.
The rich and poor are humbled alike when I pass by. I hear the voices of many tongues, see faces of many colors and listened to the songs of many religions, yet I hold no barriers...to me they are equal.
I am strong, all powerful, yet I wave a greeting to everyone who passes by. Great words have been written about me by the greatest statesmen, yet the words I cherish the most come from the lips of a small child as h or she gives their first pledge of allegiance to me and to that for which I stand. Faltering as their words may be, they are the future of America.
I stand guard over the graves of those who have protected me in the past. I must forever be on guard in the future for there are those who would destroy this great nation, which has been carved from virgin sod by men and women of many creeds and colors.
Tho I may be soaked by rain, covered by dust, and torn by misuse, i will not perish, for I am strong. I am the heart of America.
Source: A Bit of History by Virgil Talbot, page 174.