My Country ‘Tis of Thee

 My Country ‘Tis of Thee…


Wait, before you ask what this title is all about on a blog about a Far East Adventure, hear me out.


First let me explain about that beautiful picture of Old Glory that flies proudly in our yard. In my first post I included a picture of the stairs leading up to a platform where the flagpole was installed. I wanted maximum visibility for our “colors”.  Up until my accident in November last, it was my proud duty to ascend the stairs, perform the ceremony, and say the pledge of Allegiance . Now, thanks to our son Chris, the flags halyard has been replaced with one that permits this to be done at ground level.


Then why does “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” come in to play?


Recently, the music and words to this beautiful  anthem whispered through my mind as I “shifted colors” at the end of day, and I wondered how many youngsters in this volatile  PC society have ever heard of “My Country Tis of Thee”, or swelled with pride to the words than follow: “Sweet Land of Liberty”, “Of thee I Sing”?  Growing up and continuing to this day, honoring your country and the colors of FREEDOM are as much a part of my daily life as breathing. The lyrics to that stirring melody reminds one of how fortunate we are.


I grew up in the small farming community of La Jara, Colorado in the 40’s. and 50’s and in this community were several families of Japanese descent, these families were not discriminated against in anyway that I can recall, they were just friends. Gentle, very hard-working farmers never causing any problems in our community. I can still remember where I was the day that the war in the Pacific ended. I was standing across the street from the Japanese church, which was just a stones throw from our community school, I harbored no malice against these gentle people in our community. Of course I was only 10 years old.


Ten years ago, on a cruise to the Far East, I met the gentle people living in Japan and what impressed me was how `our two countries had  eliminated the chasm of hatred that existed just decades before. Currently there is a series of programs running on public television called “Journeys in Japan”. It chronicles the lives and  festivals of small communities just like the one I grew up in. It travels through areas that were not touched by the ravages of war. This series has whetted my appetite to experience more of this amazing island nation and its people. But what spoke to me more than anything was; these people, young and old demonstrate just as much love for their country as I do for mine.


Through my humble narratives and images, I hope to share an honest picture of our experiences in this “Land of the Rising Sun”.

Whenever I take a break from the keyboard and look up at the scene outside of my window, Old Glory will usually be “strutting her stuff”, as she was a few days ago in a passing snow shower.  Some folks here on the Olympic Peninsula have either a view of the Straits of Juan de Fuca and Canada to the North or South to snow capped Mt Olympus – as for me I’m fine checking the pulse of my “Old Glory”.



Jack W Cummings Far East Sailing 2018

3 thoughts on “My Country ‘Tis of Thee

  1. What a magnificent post, Jack! I keep reading it again and again; it strikes so close to my own heart and soul! We’re certainly kindred spirits!

    It’s becoming increasingly clear why I’ve looked up to you as a big brother since the first moment we met aboard ms Amsterdam over ten years ago.

    As you may recall, I grew up in Yokosuka, Japan from 1967 to 1970 — where I completed high school at Yokohama High School in 1970. Even as a teen at the time, I was so struck by the warmth, kindness and welcoming afforded my family and I at every turn during our three years in this incredible country.

    I was in and out of Yokosuka Naval Base dozens of times in later decades as a Naval Officer.

    Japan had a profound impact on that developing teenager a half-century ago….and I treasure to this day the values taught and the friendship shown.

    I will be closely following your upcoming journey abroad to the Far East….but will be reliving some of the best years of my life as you visit many exciting cities and towns the length of the Japanese Islands.

    I don’t think you will ever feel safer and more welcome than you will in Japan!

    1. Thank you Nick, comments coming from a fellow blogger(Tumblr) mean so very much. My next post which will be published sometimes next week (eek -short timer) bespeaks of our friendship as well

  2. I have to admit to having a bit of envy i.e., your upcoming travels! The 9+ years we spent in Japan were nothing short of amazing, & an extremely important time for our family. Looking forward to your trip! Love you all dearly!

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