Today is Independence Day. It is on this day we celebrate the obvious point of our nation becoming independent of Great Britain. Ironically enough, John Adams had written that July 2 should be our Independence Day as it was on that date the Declaration of Independence was first brought forth to the Continental Congress. The reason July 4 is remembered is because the rest of the Congress was able to sign it on that date. When the members signed it, they made sure their names were small so as to make sure that if the war was lost, their names might not be recognizable to those who were looking to execute traitors. In reading the document, there is one part in particular I like. It reads as follows,
“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
What I enjoy so much about that particular paragraph is that it shows the conviction of the men who signed it. Dedicating their very lives and their most sacred honor to the cause is something we don’t see any more.
So how have I spent this day. Well, for those that check out the rest of the blogs, I was at the Fairfax City parade marching for Tom Davis. After that, I came how and started to watch The Patriot. As a historian, I am well aware of the fact that this film has MANY errors in it, but the reason I like this film is for something else. For me, I will always remember The Patriot as the first program I watched that was not news related after 9/11. The film was very meaningful for me because it filled me with national pride in seeing the strength of men who overcame insurmountable odds for their beliefs.
After this, I put on the 1984 miniseries George Washington. Starring Barry Bostwick as General Washington and Patty Duke as Martha Washington, this miniseries looked at the life of Washington from his early days through to the end of 1783. This film is one that I enjoy a lot namely because (1) it came from my childhood and (2) it gives the viewer a resounding sense of pride and patriotism in themselves.
In watching this film, one character in particular I like is Eban Krutch, played by Leo Burmester. There is a quote the man says which I think says it all when it comes to the dedication of soldiers fighting in the Revolution.
“What if everyone quits him? What if he quits us?”
This is rather profound I think. Here is a farmer who can quit at any time. However every time his enlistment ends, he reenlists and continues the fight. If any of you ever get a chance to watch this miniseries, I think you will find it very enjoyable.
Happy 4th of July everyone.
USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!