(Note: I meant to post this yesterday but my internet connection at home went Mark Sanford, I mean AWOL on me)
This morning I unfurled my Gadsden flag outside the house. It felt good. I picked July 2nd to display the flag on purpose. Why?
Well, July 2nd almost was July 4th. Back in 1776, twelve of the thirteen colonies voted for the resolution which was to become the Declaration of Independence on July 2. Only New York refused to vote “aye.” Yeah, I’m not surprised either. I mean not only did they send Hillary Clinton to the Senate but their freaking nickname is the Empire State.
July 2, 1863 was also the key day in the Battle of Gettysburg. After the Army of Northern Virginia pushed Union troops through the town onto Cemetery Ridge on July 1, both sides gathered strength through the night. General Lee attacked both Union flanks the next day leading to the fight at Little Round Top and Col. Joshua Chamberlain’s famous swinging door charge down the hill. It also set the stage for the disastrous Confederate attack on the Union center on July 3.
Plus Mom doesn’t really like the flag since it has a snake on it and she had already left for work when Bailey and I decided to display it.
Anyway, July 2 has a lot of history associated with it. You can argue the union was created and saved on the same day. It’s also Jose Canseco’s, Lindsay Lohan’s and Imelda Marcos’ birthday. So I guess there is a downside too.
Regardless, we’re headed to Mom’s folks house to watch fireworks for the 4th tomorrow morning. Here’s last year\'s post about our trip down there on the 4th. It’s Midwest small town Americana at it’s best. The Fourth of July always gives me a chance to talk history with the girls too. At breakfast this morning, I asked them if they knew why we celebrated on the Fourth of July.
Riley: Because we get to watch fireworks?
Dad: Why do we watch fireworks?
Kinsey: Because it’s fun?
Dad: Well, yeah, but why do we shoot them off and have a big celebration? What are we celebrating?
Riley: I don’t know.
Dad: The Fourth of July is the day America decided it wanted to be a free country and didn’t want the British to tell us how to do things over here.
Kinsey: What did they do that was bad.
Dad: Well remember when we talked about taxes?
Riley: Yeah, that’s when the government takes your money.
Dad: Right. Well, in America, we get to vote for the people who decide how much money they will take. Except when the British were in charge, we didn’t have any say in that. And that’s taxation without representation. And that’s not fair.
Now that’s not entirely the case as the level of taxation prior to the Revolution was actually lower than it is now. You can thank Woodrow Wilson, FDR and Lyndon Johnson for that. But that’s a tangent for a different blog.
After a little more discussion about the Fourth of July, I decided I’m going to do the smart thing and break out the Schoolhouse Rock DVD for girls after work. Plus the discussion, as most discussion with the girls, took off in a direction I hadn’t intended but ended in a pretty good spot.
Riley: So the British were bad?
Dad: I don’t know if they were bad but what they were doing was wrong so the Americans, back 234 years ago, decided if the British wouldn’t change then they’d have to fight. And they did. For nine years.
Riley: Did soldiers die?
Dad: Yeah, lots of people died. But you know Britain is American’s best friend now. At least until Obama gives the Queen another iPod.
Riley: I want an iPod too. But that’s weird that we’re friends now.
Kinsey: So I guess they just talked and worked it out just like we’re supposed to do at school.
Dad: Yup. Just like that.
See, history has everyday applications and helps you be a better parent.