Independence Day: A Song Of Hope And Pride

Independence Day

This is the day we celebrate our country’s independence. Sure, we’ll enjoy cookouts, fireworks, watermelon, and fun in the sun. But there was a heavy price to pay for our precious freedom. So to those who served, and to those who still serve, we are forever grateful for the sacrifices you and your families have endured for us.

To the men and women who fought and died while serving this great country, please know that you’ll always be remembered as heroes and patriots.

Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys sums it all up in the song he calls GI Joe and Lillie. Joe’s song is a story about his parents who both served in the military. It’s a love song. And it’s a song of hope and pride and happiness. It’s also a tale of sadness and tears. It’s the story of the backbone of America.

I’ve been on this earth for quite a while now, and I’ve never met anyone with a stronger love for this country than Joe Bonsall and his fellow Oaks—Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban.

Recently, Denene and I had the opportunity to enjoy a conversation with Joe during lunch, and it was a true pleasure to hear him speak candidly and lovingly of his family, his music career, and the good old U.S.A. Yes, he and his fellow Oaks are true Americans, through and through.

I invite you now to take a moment to listen as Joe and the Oaks perform GI Joe and Lillie. Also, please take second out of your day to remember the soldiers, past and present.


6 replies
  1. Jeanne Munn Bracken
    Jeanne Munn Bracken says:

    I have always loved the “Oaks”–probably not a lot of fans here in the Bay State; we’re not generally country music lovers. This is a beautiful song–perfect for the 4th.

  2. Camille Minichino
    Camille Minichino says:

    Perfect for today, Lee, thanks!

    I’ve seen the Oak Ridge Boys perform a couple of times, but never been up close like you! A great group.

  3. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    I don’t know, Larkin. I feel pretty darn proud to live in the U.S., even with all our troubles. Sure, there are some who don’t respect the soldiers, but there are far more who do. I’d rather focus on the positives than dwell on the bad. Besides, there are people all over the world who’d trade places with us any day, any time.

  4. Larkin
    Larkin says:

    I sometimes wonder why we (I served, too, long ago) serve and sacrifice and die to protect a nation that is all about privilege and elitism. We “good old boys and girls” are not respected except by other good old boys and girls.

    I wish I felt more hopeful and proud today, but pride and good expectations just are not supported by our current situation. Dread, deceit, corruption–this is what we gave up so much to protect?

    Tonight, when the kids are blowing up firecrackers, I’ll be sitting on a chaise longue, with the water hose in my hand, just in case. But this is not a celebration in my eyes. It’s a funeral pyre.

    And to those who sacrificed and to those who died, I have to say, “Thank you for the love and respect you gave but did not receive. I’m sorry that the prize is not remotely equal to the price.”

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