Lee Greenwood wrote “God Bless the U.S.A.” in 1983
to bring people together. He said, “We have our differences and that is
one of the many strengths of our country, but even if we don’t agree on
economics or politics, I hope this song can let us sing together as
Americans, and perhaps our differences won’t matter so much.
“I’m sometimes overwhelmed by this vast nation and
wish I could see how America will change in the next one hundred years.
As long as we continue to dream, create inventions, and solve the
challenges of an ever-expanding population, we will have the power to
create a better society.
“But it is inevitable that the freedom, liberty,
and can-do attitude that characterize us will be challenged, sometimes
in ways that leave us no choice but to defend ourselves and the land we
love. It happened in 1941 at Pearl Harbor and again in 2001 at the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon.”
The song was written in 1983, but it still warms my
heart. We have just been through two elections, the Statewide Primary
and the Municipal Election, and it is also the 150th anniversary of the
beginning of the Civil War (War between the States).
We had differences of opinion from national down to
our families. Because we could not solve our problems in a civilized
manner, we fought one of the bloodiest wars in our history. We lost more
lives and friendships. It was also fought on American soil. This means
our ancestors’ blood is in our soil.
We must prepare for differences of opinion in the
future. Do you know that during our recent elections that under 50% of
the eligible voters used the privilege? Do you know that in the election
to decide statehood for West Virginia, there were armed Union soldiers
on guard? There will be more elections. Prepare now. If you are not
registered, celebrate Independence Day by making a vow to register for
I pray that God, who has watched over this nation
for 235 years, will not forsake us. I pray that God will keep us safe
from those who would do us harm. I pray for America.
“’Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land.
God Bless the U.S.A.”
following is from the W.Va. Dept. of Culture & History’s website:
Everything changed with the approach of the Civil
War. In November 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected president, with
virtually no support from the South. His election resulted in the
country’s southern-most states leaving the Union. On Apr. 17, 1861, days
after Lincoln’s order to seize Fort Sumter in South Carolina, a
convention of Virginians voted to submit a secession bill to the people.
Led by Clarksburg’s John S. Carlile, many western delegates marched out
of the Secession Convention, vowing to form a state government loyal to
Many of these delegates gathered in Clarksburg on
Apr. 22, calling for a pro-Union convention, which met in Wheeling from
May 13-15. On May 23, a majority of Virginia voters approved the
Ordinance of Secession. It is not possible to determine accurately the
vote total from present-day West Virginia due to vote tampering and the
destruction of records. Some argue that secessionists were in the
majority in western Virginia, while others feel Unionists had greater
Following a Union victory at the Battle of Philippi
and the subsequent occupation of northwestern Virginia by General George
B. McClellan, the Second Wheeling Convention met between June 11 and
June 25. Delegates formed the Restored, or Reorganized, Government of
Virginia, and chose Francis H. Pierpont as governor. President Lincoln
recognized the Restored Government as the legitimate government of
Virginia. John Carlile and Waitman T. Willey became U.S. senators and
Jacob B. Blair, William G. Brown and Kellian V. Whaley became
congressmen representing pro-Union Virginia.
On Oct. 24, 1861, residents of 39 counties in
western Virginia approved the formation of a new Unionist state. The
accuracy of these election results have been questioned, since Union
troops were stationed at many of the polls to prevent Confederate
sympathizers from voting. At the Constitutional Convention, which met in
Wheeling from November 1861 to February 1862, delegates selected the
counties for inclusion in the new state of West Virginia.
From the initial list, most of the counties in the
Shenandoah Valley were excluded due to their control by Confederate
troops and a large number of local Confederate sympathizers. In the end,
50 counties were selected (all of present-day West Virginia’s counties
except Mineral, Grant, Lincoln, Summers and Mingo, which were formed
after statehood). Most of the eastern and southern counties did not
support statehood, but were included for political, economic, and
The mountain range west of the Blue Ridge became
the eastern border of West Virginia to provide a defense against
Confederate invasion. One of the most controversial decisions involved
the Eastern Panhandle counties, which supported the Confederacy. The
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which ran through the Eastern Panhandle,
was extremely important for the economy and troop movements. Inclusion
of these counties removed all of the railroad from the Confederacy.