And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
I never fail to be stirred by the song Lee Greenwood wrote about being proud to be an American.
I once had the opportunity to meet Mr. Greenwood and, just by chance, to sit next to him at dinner. What a humble, generous, patriotic man. As we were eating, Tom, an acquaintance of Hubby’s and mine, stopped by our table to say hello. I introduced him to Mr. Greenwood and added that Tom was a Viet Nam veteran. Without a moment’s hesitation, Mr. Greenwood pushed back his chair, stood up, shook Tom’s hand, and thanked him for his service to our country. When I write that it somehow sounds “showy”, but, believe me, he did it in such a way that it seemed very unrehearsed … it seemed like just a very natural reaction by someone who appreciates what our military does. Tom was visibly touched by the gesture.
At that same dinner, one of the speakers told about being in the audience when Lee Greenwood sang the song for the very first time in a concert in Las Vegas. The man said that half-way through the song members of the audience started standing up and by the end of the song, the whole audience was standing and cheering, many with tears in their eyes! I can absolutely imagine that reaction, because that’s the way I feel when I hear it too.
I am proud to be an American, and I know that my freedom isn’t free. God bless those who have paid the ultimate price for my freedom.