Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - June 28,
The bald eagle American symbol of bravery
This column is dedicated to all firefighters, EMS
professionals, law enforcement professionals, SWAT team members and military
personnel. We honor you. You are our natural born heroes.
Who are our heroes? What do we feel represents strength, dignity, bravery and power?
Following Americas disastrous events such as 9/11, we have become bonded by our
search for meaning, spirituality, loyalty and the resounding knowledge and
recognition of who are our natural born heroes.
Because of its long life, great strength, bravery and majestic looks, the bald eagle
was chosen June 20, 1782 as the symbol of the United States of American. Considered
the most regal bird in the sky, Eagle refers to the largest diurnal birds
The Great Seal shows a widespread eagle, faced front, having on his breast a shield
with 13 perpendicular red and white stripes, surmounted by a blue field with the same
number of stars.
The 13 stars enclosed in the ring of light going out to a ring of clouds above the
eagle represents the religious freedom sought by our nations founders.
In his left talon are a bundle of 13 arrows, representing war as an instrument of
power. In his right talon the eagle holds an olive branch indicating this
nations desire for peace, even during war, and held by the eagle in its bill is
the scroll inscribed with the motto: E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One),
attributed to Thomas Jefferson.
The eagles head represents the executive branch, the shields top
indicates the legislative, and the nine tail feathers, the judiciary.
Edwin Way Teale aptly ascribed the bald eagle in his Bird of Freedom, in
the Atlantic Monthly, 1957. He wrote:
Above all other birds it is the soaring eagle, with its size and weight, that
gives the most abiding impression of power and purpose in the air. It advances
solidly like a great ship cleaving the swells and thrusting aside the smaller waves.
It sails directly where lesser birds are rocked and tilted by the air
Unlike other eagles, the bald eagle is indigenous only to North America. In Latin
the word for eagle, aquila, means dark color and the north wind. This
became aigle in French from which we say, eagle.
The word bald does not mean that this bird has no feathers. Instead, it
comes from the word piebald, an old word, which means marked with white
and so we have bald eagle or white-headed, large, dark bird of prey.
In recent history the bald eagle was listed on the endangered species list but has
bravely made an amazing recovery so as to be recently removed from this list. Even
so, most of the bald eagle populations are found in Alaska, Canada, Washington,
Oregon and Florida.
The adults have a white head and white tail, blackish-brown back and breast; large
yellow bill and yellow feet. These majestic birds have long and broad wings that help
them soar at grand heights using magnificent strength and power. Thus, our vision of
the bald eagle is of a bird of great dignity, superb strength and bravery, keenness
of sight and marvelous powers of flight.
This bird truly symbolizes the free spirit of all Americans from the first peoples
to the Europeans that followed, as a nation of individuals who has suffered great
consequences, bravely building the cornerstones of a country where today our children
are born in freedom and independence.
Set aside a moment of remembrance and honor. Visit the Veterans War Memorial
Park where you may tie a prayer tie upon the memorial tree or spend a moment of
silence to embrace our brave ones and their families with thoughts of appreciation
War Veterans Memorial Park is at 9600 Bay Pines Blvd., St. Petersburg, FL
33708. Call 549-6165.
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.