In God is Our Trust

Elections make me pensive.  Especially crazy, divisive ones like we’re experiencing this year. 

I was brooding about this today, and for some reason my mind flipped back to the distant past.  (That’s happening more and more often, I’m afraid!)  Back to when I was an elementary school teacher.  Back to when the kids recited the Pledge of Allegiance every morning.  Remember them thar’ days?

Well, I taught at a large Air Force Base school, and we went one step further.  After reciting the pledge, we were required to sing a patriotic song .  The kids groaned.  An outspoken little fellow named Claude stated,  “Teacher, we’re sick of America The Beautiful!

That’s when I got my idea.  I decided I would have my third graders learn all four verses of The Star Spangled Banner. (I know, I know.  Most people don’t even know there are other verses.  But fifty kids–well, adults now–spread throughout the country do know.)  The kids loved the project.  Periodically, we led the salute over the PA system for the entire school and regaled them with our most recently memorized verse.  And at the end of the school year, we performed the entire four verses for all the parents.  The base commander, whose daughter was in my class, stood in the front at full salute.  He was a tall man, and his chest shone with medals.  When we sang the last verse, he wept.

But that’s all backstory.  Here’s what really occurred to me today.  In our present day and angry mood, that last verse that brought tears to the base commander’s eyes would almost certainly be banned from schools.  Too religious.  Here are the words:

Oh, thus be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heaven rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto, “In God is our trust”
And the Star-spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


No wonder no one knows about those other verses~!

And this be our motto, “In God is our trust”

The Star-Spangled Banner



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6 responses to “In God is Our Trust

  1. A beautiful memory, Kay, of a time when life seemed simpler. May God bless our country.

  2. And I wish I could say more sane, except that we were demolishing Viet Nam and Cambodia, and dividing our own country. Sigh~!

  3. Jean Stewart

    Amen, Kay. I echo BJ, may God bless us and our country.

  4. Pam

    I’m thankful to work at an elementary school where the kids still recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day. Thanks for sharing this fourth verse to the Star Spangled Banner.

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