Patriotism, a Child’s View

As a child in the early nineteen forty’s World War ll era, I listened to many patriotic songs on the radio, and even at that young age, it did something to my spirit when I would hear them.  I would make my little brother stand at attention with me, and we would hold a long salute.   My heart would burst with pride.  We were singing about my country and my people and our pride in this God blessed land of America.

I knew that men and women in far away lands were fighting to keep me safe and free, I took it personally because that is how my Mother taught me to think.  On July 4th my heart would nearly burst with excitement because of the fireworks; the red, white, and blue sparks that were emblazoned on a midnight dark sky.  There was glory, and it resided in our flag waving in parades, on tall poles in schoolyards, and on the little stick stuck tight to my hand.

One of the songs from I remember most this time was “Coming in On a Wing and a Prayer”.  It had everything that I was feeling emotionally about my homeland, my God, and our “soldier-boys.”  I would sing along with gusto!

Read these words again with me ~ can you feel the excitement a little girl felt so many years ago?  Does it ring true yet today?

Circa 1943
Lyric by Harold Adamson, Music by Jimmy McHugh
Comin In On A WING and a PRAYER
One of our planes was missing, two ho-ours over due.
One of our planes was miss-ing, with all its gallant crew.
The radio sets were humming, they wait-ed for a word;
Then a voice broke thru the humming and this is what they heard:

“Com-in’ In On A Wing And A Pray’r
Com-in’ In On A Wing And A Pray’r
Tho’ there’s one mo-tor gone, we can still carry on,
Com-in’ In On A Wing And A Pray’r

What a show what a fight
Yes, we really hit our target for tonight!
How we sing as we limp thru the air
Look below, there’s our field over there

With our full crew a-board and our trust in the Lord
we’re Com-in’ In On A Wing And A Pray’r!

What victory I would feel when hearing this song!  What right, what might, what pride for my America, and thankfulness to God for saving my “soldier-boys” one more time.

A reflection: God is still saving!  Our flag is still waving!  We are still singing of heroes.

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