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Proud to be an American

| September 12, 2016
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Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all,

By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall; 

In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed,         

For heaven approves of each generous deed.

                                                                John Dickenson

  

 

This past weekend, Jennifer and I made the pilgrimage to Bristol to see the Volunteers play against the Hokies in the Battle at Bristol.  I was very proud that after 13 years of marriage, my wife finally agreed to go camping.  Tailgating is taken to an entirely new level when there is no need to drive home directly after the game. 

 

 

The event itself was memorable for hosting the largest number of college football fans ever assembled in a stadium.  Even though our seats were farther from the field than we have ever been before, we could see everything relatively well on the big screen they constructed for the game.  We enjoyed the comeback win over the Hokies and made a few new friends from our neighboring state.

However, the most memorable parts of the event included the national anthem and the halftime show.

Over 156,000 football fans worked together to create an homage to our country.  We all held our cards up to create a patriotic display of stars and stripes.  Ours placed us in the middle of the USA graphic in the end zone.  During a time when our political parties are actively working to stir up negative emotions and encourage us to distrust those who are different, we worked together during the national anthem and stood united during a magnificent patriotic display. 

 

Jennifer Nettles sings the National Anthem

 

 

I’m proud to be an American.  This is still the land many from all over the world see as the place to create a new life.  Other countries' discarded masses have made a new home here and have enjoyed opportunities that were not available in their home countries.  Like a field full of wildflowers our diversity can be seen as truly beautiful.  Some may see an unwanted wildflower in a garden and think of it as weed, but no one can deny the beauty when a field full of flowers is allowed to bloom.  America provides that opportunity for millions, and we should continue to embrace this. 

 

On the 15th Anniversary of September 11th we should all remember that we are all Americans and that many have died to provide us the freedoms and opportunities that we and many generations to come should be able enjoy.  We can all work together for “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” and set aside our differences to achieve those ends.  Politicians unfortunately inspire negativity and hatred to gain power and votes.  We should strive to be above these squabbles and put aside our differences working together. 

“United we Stand” has and continues to be an American theme that the events of 9/11 helped us to remember. 

Lee Greenwood performed “God Bless the USA” during halftime and it also had a profound impact on us.  I had forgotten what a powerful song this is and I encourage you to watch and listen.

 

 

Lee Greenwood sings God Bless the USA at Bristol 

 

 

If tomorrow all the things were gone I'd worked for all my life
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife
I'd thank my lucky stars to be livin' here today
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away

And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me
And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee
Across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea
From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA
Well, there's pride in every American heart
And it's time we stand and say that

I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me
And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

Joe D. Franklin, CFP is Founder and President of Franklin Wealth Management, a registered investment advisory firm in Hixson, Tennessee. A 20+year industry veteran, he contributes guest articles for Money Magazine and authors the Franklin Backstage Pass blog.  Joe has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Magazine, USA Today and other publications.

 

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