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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)

TITLE: America the Beautiful
By Lamar Taylor


My wife and I live in south-central Colorado. We’re about four hours southwest of Pikes Peak. One website states that it is the most visited mountain in North America. A road and a cog railway provide access to the summit. The physically fit can hike to the summit via the Barr Trail. As a teenager, I rode the cog railway to the top. Ten or twelve years ago my wife and I drove to the summit. The views all around are spectacular and literally breath-taking, especially since the summit is 14,110 feet above sea-level!

It was on the summit of Pikes Peak in 1893 that Katherine Lee Bates was inspired to write the poem, “America the Beautiful.” Eventually it was adapted to music. During her lifetime, the song became very popular in America, as it is still today. In fact, there have been attempts to make it our national anthem or at least give it legal status as a national hymn.

Truly, America is beautiful. From Pikes Peak to the Grand Canyon to the Blue Ridge Mountains, to its deserts and beaches, America is one of the most beautiful places on the earth. But its beauty is not only in its scenic grandeur. It is also in its people, people from every ethnic, cultural and national origin. America[s beauty is also in what it offers its people, including jobs, a decent home, security, and material wealth. These draw people from all parts of the globe. There are Americans who think our country is the worst in the world. If that is true, why do millions of people risk their lives, even lose their lives attempting to come here illegally?

The most important part of America’s beauty is freedom--freedom from oppression, freedom from tyranny, freedom of religion, freedom of speech. The list goes on. Throughout its history, America’s people have worked to bring and promote freedom in other areas of the world. This “land of the free” is the world’s flagship for freedom. As a Christian nation, America has also been and is the leader in championing the rights of women and children.

The birth, the establishment, and the continued existence of this nation have been a “God thing.” The true history of America makes it obvious that God has had His hand on it. The Colonial Army was out-manned, out-gunned, and out-strategized, and yet it won the Revolutionary War. Lewis and Clark and their company of men spent two years exploring the Louisiana Purchase. They traveled through hostile Indian country, braved raging rivers and rugged mountains and survived a brutal winter on the Oregon coast. They lost only one man, and that was to illness. At one of our nation’s lowest points, the Civil War, the Lord provided it with one of its greatest presidents. With His help, this nation led the Allies to victory in World War II.

America is the greatest nation in history. It has faced and survived many great crises. At key points in the life of this nation, God has provided the people and the means to preserve it. America is now facing other crises: parts of the economy are in shambles; there has been significant moral decline; and more and more people are asking the government for assistance.

Will the “USA” continue to exist? Will it continue to be the flagship of freedom? God’s promise and conditions are in 2 Chronicles 7:14. It is our responsibility as Christians to pray and seek God’s face for our nation, to ask Him what we can do to make sure it continues to be “America the Beautiful,” the “land of the free.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Germain 01/15/09
Nice perspective; good insight!
Jan Ackerson 01/15/09
Very nice article!
Kenneth Bridge01/17/09
I used to see Pikes Peak from my barracks window when I was at Ft. Carson. I never made it to the top, but watched the hillclimb races from the timberline during the Bicentennial Fourth of July.

Your essay did an excellent job of using a concrete reference point to anchor your thoughts.