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article imageTraveling through America the Beautiful Special

By Carol Forsloff     Mar 21, 2010 in Travel
Today marks one of those moments in history when Americans are divided on matters like health care. As Democrats and Republicans wrangle, however, most folks who have traveled across America hear in their hearts a great song despite political divides.
That song is America the Beautiful found on a journey Digital Journal recently made across the country from an area in Portland known as Beaverton, just minutes from farms and small towns that reveal the simple life from which America grew, to Louisiana, the birthplace of the country's expansion. Thomas Jefferson sent his representatives to discover the country and to bring back with them the information needed to make decisions about the new land. Settlers followed along the trails set by Lewis and Clark and continue to make the journey even today.
Health care reform remains at the forefront of America's thinking today, but a careful listen and one finds most people in the United States agree on basic values and believe the country will continue to thrive in spite of political differences. Most agree America is indeed beautiful, even if they have only traveled in the towns where they were raised. The geography that turns from rivers and oceans to lofty mountain tops and deserts that stretch for miles, moves magically to bring a visual masterpiece like no other. The simple, friendly, genuine caring of one person for another can be found in every hamlet, every street and city throughout the land, combining with the visual experience to impress the wayfarer of America's great dreams. Digital Journal experienced all this from the outstretched borders of the country through its interior to learn once again what it means to love one's country, as Americans of virtually every political stripe proclaim.
The feelings are no better expressed than in a song cherished by millions, written many years ago from the combined talents of Katherine Lee Bates, who put together the words into stanzas from which the melody was created by Samuel Ward. Today, as the debate rages in Washington over health care, a reminder once again comes from these verses of what most Americans think and believe and expressed to a journalist who made the journey to listen to their hearts.
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
These mountains with their waterfalls loom majestically as the road winds out of Portland into the O...
These mountains with their waterfalls loom majestically as the road winds out of Portland into the Oregon country.
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
City hall in La Grande  Oregon represents the justice concerns of the people.
City hall in La Grande, Oregon represents the justice concerns of the people.
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!
This is the wall of heroes who have served the country through the military and is located in the to...
This is the wall of heroes who have served the country through the military and is located in the town of Yuma, Arizona.
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
The ship sails the dangerous channel near the coast of Oregon  representing the men who serve their ...
The ship sails the dangerous channel near the coast of Oregon, representing the men who serve their country in rescues, like the Coast Guard, and the Navy who serve their country on the seas.
O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!
Shown here are the some of America s attributes  its mountains  lakes and plains  as here in Arizona...
Shown here are the some of America's attributes, its mountains, lakes and plains, as here in Arizona on the outskirts of Yuma.
O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!
La Grande  Oregon retains the history of the old pioneer settlements in its libraries and bookstores...
La Grande, Oregon retains the history of the old pioneer settlements in its libraries and bookstores, as the old downtown section continues to retain its traditional look and feel.
O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
God s grace is said to come from America s faith in God  a symbol of which stands in Fredericksburg ...
God's grace is said to come from America's faith in God, a symbol of which stands in Fredericksburg, Texas.
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!
The American flag waves over the Columbia Museum in Astoria  Oregon.
The American flag waves over the Columbia Museum in Astoria, Oregon.
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Beautiful homes  some historical loom over the alabaster city of Portland  Oregon
Beautiful homes, some historical loom over the alabaster city of Portland, Oregon
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!
This is a file photo of an old African American Baptist church where one hears the music of country ...
This is a file photo of an old African American Baptist church where one hears the music of country and of God as people sing of the promise of America.
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