Celebrating Independence Day

Dear Annie: This is to the woman whose 81-year-old mother was about to be scammed out of $10,000. I would suggest that you get your mother’s bank involved. If she will go with you, see if you can get your mom to sit down with an account representative for some advice. Banks see this kind of thing happen all the time and usually try to do everything they can to prevent their customers from being taken in by con artists.

Even if your mom won’t listen to you, she might listen to her bankers. Good luck. — A Bank Employee

Dear Bank Employee: Another great suggestion. Thank you for writing and offering your expertise in the field.

Dear Readers: Happy 4th of July! Here are two poems written by famous American poets. Hope you enjoy

A Nation’s Strength

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

What makes a nation’s pillars high

And its foundations strong?

What makes it mighty to defy

The foes that round it throng?

It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand

Go down in battle shock;

Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,

Not on abiding rock.

Is it the sword? Ask the red dust

Of empires passed away;

The blood has turned their stones to rust,

Their glory to decay.

And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown

Has seemed to nations sweet;

But God has struck its luster down

In ashes at his feet.

Not gold but only men can make

A people great and strong;

Men who for truth and honor’s sake

Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,

Who dare while others fly…

They build a nation’s pillars deep

And lift them to the sky.

‘I Hear America Singing’

By Walt Whitman

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,

Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,

The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,

The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,

The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,

The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,

The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,

The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,

Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,

The day what belongs to the day — at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,

Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

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