During America’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976, I was the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout troop number 1776 from Alsip, Illinois. I proudly led the troop to Owasippi Scout Reservation owned by the Chicago Area Council near Whitehall, Michigan. Going to scout camp for two weeks was a big adventure and during the bicentennial it was even more so.
At the final ceremonial campfire the older scouts led us in song. It is then I heard for the first time what I consider to be one of the most beautiful songs I ever heard. The Senior Scout taught us the simple lyrics and melody. He divided us into groups and then led the song in round. The camp fire, and the starry night sky, created an ambiance of pride in America. We left the campfire in silent reverence after singing this stirring song. I am sorry that I could not find a video or recording to feature, but here are the lyrics.
Happy birthday America.
How can I tell you, How I feel?
You have given me many treasures,
I love you so.
Land of hope and liberty,
Freedom rings from every mountain,
From sea to sea