I’m asking you to stop right here. Hold your place. Mark the page. Cast your eyes left and note the picture of Joni Ayn, who not only is beautiful, but is a splendid singer. In a minute I will ask you to press the play button and to listen. Not to Joni Ayn, though, at least not at first. Instead, listen carefully to the opening words, and you will hear the delightful prayer of 4-year-old Kacey Lynn, who is the daughter of Joni. Oh, if you want to, you may go ahead and listen to Joni Ayn for a minute. Come to think of it: Please do. Let the music play while you read the rest of my post. Ready? Hit the play button.

Is that not awesome. Kacey Lynn is as beautiful as she sounds, precocious and charming. If someone will send me a picture or a video of her performing this patriotic recitation I will post it here.

I love America. I love our countryside and our cities, our oceans, rivers and streams. I love the mountains and the deserts, the jets that scream overhead, our churches, schools and universities. I love Washington DC, and New York and Los Angeles, and Crestline and Detroit. I love our borders and the national parks and political rallies and Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and Pasadena on New Year’s Day. I love Sea World and Mickey Mouse, and Knotts Berry Farm and Six Flags and Las Vegas and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I love our troops, our politicians, and our President, G e o r g e W. B u s h.

I love the Smithsonian, the Statue of Liberty, taxi cabs and the subways and Times Square at Midnight. I love our history, our Framers, and our principles. I love our speeches and symphony halls, the wheat fields of Kansas and the vineyards of Napa Valley. I love our neighbors, Mexico and Canada, and cruise ships and the Appalachians and neonatal nurseries. I love America.

I love the Changing of the Guard at Arlington and 21 Gun Salutes and Taps and valedictorians and Tom Sawyer and New Orleans. I love Independence Day and Christmas and Sage sitting on the roof with Steve to celebrate and St. Patrick’s Cathedral and sawmills in Louisiana.

I hate it when people run down our country.

I detest the fact that patriotic talk is scarce.

I abhor fatalistic talk concerning America.

For you see, I Love America. Long may She live, one nation, under God, indivisible.