Proud to be American

 June 25, 1999 by Senator Rod Grams..

You cannot see it, but you will know instantly when it is gone; 

You cannot feel it, but it shelters you like a robe; 

You cannot taste it, but a taste was never sweeter; 

You cannot hear it, but it rings out like a thousand bells; 

You cannot buy it, though it often comes at a heavy cost; 

You cannot sell it, for it is not yours to sell; 

You cannot crush it, yet few things are more fragile; 

You cannot extinguish it; the flame will rekindle; 

You cannot keep it for yourself; it gathers strength when shared; 

You cannot force it upon another; that is not its nature; 

And while it can be stolen from someone without their consent, most of history's great battles have been waged to win it back. 

"It" is freedom, the pillar upon which this nation was founded and the cornerstone of all civilized society. As we celebrate the Fourth of July, we acknowledge freedom's "cannots" and give thanks we live in a land where the abundance of freedom means "we can."