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Let freedom ring...or reign

Posted by ESC on July 02, 2004

LET FREEDOM RING.OR REIGN? -- "WASHINGTON -- Seconds after President Bush received a handwritten note from National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice during a NATO meeting early Monday in Istanbul, telling him that their secret plan to turn over formal sovereignty to the Iraqis two days early had been consummated a.m., he smiled and scrawled a quick response. 'Let freedom reign!' he wrote on it." From 'Let freedom reign!' just wistful thinking? by David E. Sanger, The New York Times.

But columnist Maureen Down (July 1, 2004) said President Bush got it wrong. " 'Let freedom reign.' Couldn't Karl Rove and his minions at least get that "ad- lib' right about freedom ringing?" said Maureen Dowd in her July 1, 2004, column.

So, "My Country 'Tis of Thee" (see below) does say "Let freedom ring!" I googled and found a poem and a song (a skinhead hate song) that said "reign," but they were written fairly recently.

My question: is there a "credible" source that says "Let freedom reign" or is it just wrong?

My Country 'Tis of Thee (America)

(written by Samuel Francis Smith; the tune used for this song is "God Save the Queen", the British National Anthem)

My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim's pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!