Born in a poor Russian Jewish ghetto, Irving Berlin immigrated to America with his parents when he was five, settling in New York's Lower East Side. He became one of the most prolific American songwriters in history. In 1918 he originally wrote "God Bless America," and he revised it in 1938 as war and the Nazis were threatening Europe. The lyric takes the form of a prayer for God's blessing and peace for the nation. Singer Kate Smith introduced the revised "God Bless America" during her radio broadcast on Armistice Day (now called Veteran's Day) 1938, and the song was an immediate hit. Even now it is considered an unofficial anthem of the United States.
While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
God bless American, land that I love.
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America, my home sweet home.
Patriot's Prayer: We pray, Almighty God, that you will continue to bless America. May we also, Lord, be a blessing to You: with gratitude, and humility.
Patriot's Promise: The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace." ~ Psalm 29:11