Yesterday was a blur of 4th of July shenanigans. Parade, BBQ, fireworks… it was a wonderful day but very, very long.
So today I woke up and thought, “Hm… I need to remind the kids of why we spent all day yesterday sniffing sulfur fumes and eating candy.”
Because, you know, that’s what we do to celebrate liberation these days.
I gathered the girls up, plopped them on the sofa, and turned on the History Channel’s Story of Us: Revolution.
(We’ve watched it before, and I tell you what, if you have never seen this series from the History Channel you need to watch it, pronto. It’s amazing. I have an innate suspicion of historical re-enactments but this presentation, this one is so good I usually watch with a lump in my throat, amazed at the events and personalities shaping this landmass I call “home.”)
Right about the time we hit the winter in Valley Forge, Uno looked at me with her big, blue eyes, and said, “I’m scared. I don’t like all this fighting. Do I have to keep watching, even though it makes my tummy hurt?”
Alert! Alert! We’ve got a pacifist on our hands! (She’ll probably turn vegetarian in a few years and we’re just going to have to love her anyway.)
My internal patriot reared its ugly head and wanted to say, “What?! You don’t want to watch about the people who died so you would have the freedom to live in privilege?!” but then I realized, she’s 6. And maybe six years old is a little young to force the realization of death by small pox and that 9 of every 10 prisoners died on British prison ships, with sometimes as much as 10 days going by before the jailers realized there was a carcass that needed to be hauled out.
So, I calmed my inner patriot, decided to leave the Revolution details for another time and changed my game plan to the movie, National Treasure.
(Which is really the only movie I truly think Nicholas Cage’s acting is brilliant. He’s not my favorite actor because, well… Snake Eyes? Ghost Rider? Really??)
Everyone in the household was pleased with the change of atmosphere. This viewing of National Treasure left me with a quote. It’s a paraphrase of a line in the Declaration of Independence:
“If there’s something wrong, those who have the ability to take action have the responsibility to take action.”
I know it’s an election year and people are getting all stirred up about many issues, myself included. (I even had a day where I got all mad at politicians and blogged about it.)
As much as I’d like it if everyone agreed with me politically (because, let’s face it, I’m right. And brilliant.), I’m honestly more hopeful that people will simply pay attention and take the action to involve themselves in our country and local communities.
Apathy is killing our nation. If we have the ability to engage in creating the history of tomorrow (which we DO), then let’s go ahead and take on the challenge!
Every time we choose to make a difference we validate the lives of those who have gone before. And while those dearly departed soldiers are far beyond the reality of small pox or the prisoner of war ships… doesn’t it make you feel a little stronger to know you are making their sacrifice worthwhile?