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“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.”
— Thucydides

“A civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.”
— Jean-François Revel

Heaven, To Me

Sunday, July 3, 2005

I'm making a slightly early Independence Day post, since I don't know whether I'll be able to get to a computer on the 4th.

I'll remember 2005 as the year I first had the pleasure of hearing Madeleine Peyroux sing “Heaven to Me”, which caught me by surprise and moved me to tears of joyful recognition. It expresses with quiet grace what's in my heart on this occasion, and every day:

When I hear them say, there's better livin’
Let them go their way, to that new livin’
I won't ever stray
‘Cause this is Heaven, to me

‘Long as freedom grows, I want to seek it
If it's “Yes” or “No”, it's me who'll speak it
‘Cause the Lord, he knows
That this is Heaven, to me

If you've got your hands, and got your feet
to sing your song all through the street
You'll raise your head when the day is done,
shout your thanks up to the Sun

So when I hear them say there's better livin’
Let them go their way, to that new livin’
I won't ever stray, ‘cause this is Heaven, to me
‘Cause this is Heaven, to me...

Happy Birthday, America. Thank you for my life and for my freedom, and for all the wonderful things that they have made possible.

And last but not least, heartfelt thanks beyond the power of my words to express, to those past and present who have risked all, and in some cases sacrificed all, that we might live the lives of free men and women. May we be worthy of all that they have given up for us.