The Future’s Illumined by the Deeds of the Past

inspired by a quote from Alexis de Tocqueville

The future’s illumined by deeds of the past.
Without history into darkness we’re cast
To walk aimlessly, to suffer and bleed,
To never again be the land of the freed.

Our liberty never was something ordained.
Our liberty came with a force that unchained.
Our freedom was bought by the brave and the dead
Who stumbled through darkness with scant light ahead.

We wave the flag proudly; we stand and salute
The colors today on our parade route.
The flag that Scott Key gazed at early one dawn
Became the great flag that we now look upon.

When you honor our flag, then you honor our country.
You honor mankind and our right to live freely.
Let’s stand up together this Fourth of July
To cherish our freedom when we see it fly.



LTC Roy E. Peterson is a writer, retired U.S. Army Military Intelligence Officer, Foreign Area Officer, and Foreign Commercial Officer who currently resides in Texas.

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8 Responses

  1. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    I love the title of this fine poem and the sentiment is spot on. Happy Independence Day and thank you, Roy!

    • Roy E. Peterson

      Bless you, Susan and Happy Independence Day to you in return!

  2. Jeff Eardley

    Great to read Roy. Old Glory is a potent symbol of freedom everywhere.
    From over here in England, thank you.

    • Roy E. Peterson

      I greatly appreciate your thoughts and encouragement, Jeff. We stand together!

  3. Sally Cook

    Roy, you are such a fine poet. And Church is one of my favorite painters. Thanks for the offering on this day of days.

    • Roy E. Peterson

      I am deeply humbled and appreciative of your kind comments.


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