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So, after taking our son to a very traditional Independence Day celebration thing with my sister's family (their neighborhood does the whole red, white & blue bicycle parade thing, ending at the beach of a nearby lake where they have the traditional hot dog BBQ, etc etc), we came back home this afternoon and chilled for awhile.

We sat him down and watched Bedknobs & Broomsticks, which I never saw as a kid myself, so I was surprised to learn that it culminates in Angela Lansbury battling Nazis while riding a broom.

Anyway, his first exposure to a World War II movie involving Allied Forces battling an invading Nazi contingent led to deciding to show him 3 classic Schoolhouse Rock videos about the founding of America: "No More Kings", "Fireworks" and "The Shot Heard 'Round the World":

Aside from the obvious, um, simplification of the story (hey, they have to cut a few corners to squeeze the entire American Revolution into 3 three-minute videos for children), it did remind me of one thing--and something which a LOT of Americans who tend to make fun of or belittle France should be reminded of:

They helped our asses out during the Revolutionary War.

Yes, we certainly returned the favor (bigtime) 160-odd years later during WWII, but it's entirely possible that we wouldn't have been around to do so without their assisting us in the first place.

Anyway, after that I actually read the Declaration of Independence to him (well, most of it; I didn't go into all of the grievances; it was pretty lengthy even without them) and tried to give a basic understanding of what it all meant.

Feeling pretty patriotic right now.

Off to eat some pizza, though.

Originally posted to Brainwrap on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 02:46 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKOMA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What an excellent way (6+ / 0-)

    to end the day!  Kudos for giving your child such a meaningful 4th.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 03:40:33 PM PDT

  •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brainwrap, Avila, weck, texasmom

    If all the kid ever understands is those three videos, it's more than the average Teabagger.

    Weathering Michigan's recessions since the '70s.

    by jennifree2bme on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 03:47:10 PM PDT

  •  History Channel (7+ / 0-)

    has been running the series called "Revolution", all about the actions that lead to the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary war. Lots of detail, with bits and pieces of the actual writings of the major players (and some minor players) in the proceedings. Fascinating and with lots of "hmm, I didn't realize that" aspects to the whole affair. Made in 2006, this is the first time I've seen it. Must be a July 4 only series.

    I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

    by woolibaar on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 04:22:54 PM PDT

  •  Good stuff (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, Avilyn

    Schoolhouse Rock rocks.  Kids hear this in school some.   I didn't realize how much until I started to talk about parts of the preamble of the Constitution and my kids started singing it!  (Brought me to tears.)  Made me proud and relieved...they got it.    When I mention School House Rock to other parents (regardless of political affiliation) they agree and get teary eyed.

    Enjoy those corny parades with little ones while you can.  Growing up in a small western Kansas town I still recall decorating my bike for the 4th of July parade in red white and blue crepe paper and riding it through the streets.  Later, back at the house (maybe the next day) we learned we had won the "best decorated bicycle" prize.  We didn't even know there was a contest...just wanted to look patriotic for the bicentennial.  Nothing beats winning a prize for spirit when you weren't even trying.

    "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

    by Celtic Pugilist on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 02:02:34 AM PDT

  •  One of my favorite stories about a General (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, Avilyn, Mayfly

    not that there are many I know, but anyway... Pershing or his aide (Wiki says the aide, Colonel Charles E. Stanton) upon arriving in France in WWI, went to Lafayette's tomb, and said "Lafayette, we have come."

    (This is alternatively stated "Lafayette, we are here," I see from multiple Google results. Apparently it was actually said in French, but both "nous sommes ici" and "nous sommes arrives" are also quoted.)

    "Maybe this is how empires die - their citizens just don't deserve to be world leaders anymore." -Kossack Puddytat, In a Comment 18 Sept 2011

    by pixxer on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 07:50:44 AM PDT

  •  At the beginning of their revolution, the French (0+ / 0-)

    destroyed the Bastille--that symbol of injustice and oppression. Guess where the key to the Bastille is now.  It is in a case mounted on a wall in Mount Vernon.  LaFayette gave it to George Washington. I was more thrilled to see that than almost anything else in the DC area.

    Of course, the French revolution got out of hand. But the French revolutionaries were not comfortable farmers or educated upper middle-class planters, lawyers, tradesmen, etc. who were aggrieved at lack of representation in Parliament.  The French revolutionaries were people who had been treated like dirt for generations plus, of course, the intellectuals who supported them i.e. the young nobleman who wrote La Marseilles (stirring tune, bloody lyrics), and the cold-blooded politicos who seized power through the anger of the mob. There was a lot more primitive rage there than here.

    July 14 is Bastille Day.  

    "'s difficult to imagine what else Republicans can do to drive women away in 2012, unless they decide to bring back witch-hanging. And I wouldn't put it past them." James Wolcott

    by Mayfly on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 11:18:48 AM PDT

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