William Lawrence

Celebrating Tennessee: A Legacy of Courage, Care, and Compassion 

At Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we’re not just about providing healthcare; we’re about celebrating the rich tapestry of our beloved state, Tennessee. As we delve into the history and legacy of our state, we stumble upon a gem that embodies the spirit of resilience, love for home, and unwavering pride—Admiral William Lawrence’s iconic poem, “Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee.”

Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee
What Love and Pride I Feel for Thee. 
You Proud Ole State, the Volunteer, 
Your Proud Traditions I Hold Dear. 
I Revere Your Many Heroes 
Who Bravely Fought our Country’s Foes. 
Renowned Statesmen, so Wise and Strong, 
Who Served our Country Well and Long. 
I Thrill at Thought of Mountains Grand; 
Rolling Green Hills and Fertile Farm Land; 
Earth Rich with Stone, Mineral and Ore; 
Forests Dense and Wild Flowers Galore;
Powerful Rivers that Bring us Light; 
Deep Lakes with Fish and Fowl in Flight; 
Thriving Cities and Industries; 
Fine Schools and Universities; 
Strong Folks of Pioneer Descent, 
Simple, Honest, and Reverent. 
Beauty and Hospitality 
Are the Hallmarks of Tennessee. 
And O’er the World as I May Roam, 
No Place Exceeds my Boyhood Home. 
And Oh How Much I Long to See 
My Native Land, My Tennessee.


The Heart Behind the Poem

The story behind this poem is as inspiring as the verses themselves. Admiral William Porter Lawrence, born in Nashville in 1930, was a man of extraordinary accomplishments and unwavering patriotism. His journey from a young student excelling in academics and sports to becoming a distinguished naval officer is a testament to the spirit of determination and service.

During his military career, Admiral Lawrence faced the harsh realities of war, including being shot down over North Vietnam during a combat mission. Enduring captivity in a prisoner of war camp, he found solace and strength in crafting the verses of “Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee.” These words became a beacon of hope, reminding him of the beauty, resilience, and indomitable spirit of his home state.

A Tribute to Tennessee’s Beauty and Strength

Admiral Lawrence’s poem beautifully captures the essence of Tennessee—the majestic mountains, verdant hills, bountiful lands, and the warmth of its people. It speaks of a place where tradition meets innovation, where natural wonders abound, and where hospitality is woven into the very fabric of life.

In every line of “Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee,” we find echoes of care and compassion—values that resonate deeply with our mission at Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic. Just as Admiral Lawrence found strength in his roots, we believe that a strong sense of community, love for our land, and a commitment to serving others are integral to fostering the spirit.

Honoring a Hero’s Legacy

Admiral William Porter Lawrence’s legacy extends far beyond his military achievements. His resilience, courage, and love for Tennessee continue to inspire generations. As we reflect on his remarkable life and contributions, we are reminded of the power of words, the strength of the human spirit, and the enduring bond of community.

At Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, we stand proud as Tennesseans, honoring our state’s heritage, and embodying the spirit of care and compassion in all that we do. Join us in celebrating Tennessee—a land of beauty, strength, and endless possibilities.

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