Independence Day Reflections

A suggestion for this post came a few days ago from one of our Treepers. I think it is a wonderful idea, especially for today, and during these times.

I will just copy here a portion of her letter to me.

My friend, Jack is the father of four sons… and at the end of an email about his sadness over the dismantling of the statues of Washington and Lincoln, he mentioned that he and his boys had just been listening to “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” and then he commented that “pretty soon, they’ll come for that, too.”

They very well could.

It made me think….what if they come for it all—all of our stories and poems and songs and books and movies, but each one of us could save something….what would it be? (Like Dolly Madison saved the portrait of Washington from the burning White House).

So, I wonder if Treepers would contribute to an “American cultural treasure chest” by suggesting the title of a poem, story, book, movie, song, or even of a photo or painting that was an important part of his or her own growing up. I’d be glad to collect all the suggestions together into something Jack and other parents and grandparents could share with their children and grandchildren as a way of connecting them to American history and culture—through the eyes of ordinary American people.

I was just reading …“Casey at the bat,” and I would definitely save that. It was the first poem that ever made me cry. And the book my mother read to me over and over again when I was very little, “The Little Engine that Could.” And Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” And all of the Rogers and Hammerstein musicals. And “Gone With the Wind.”

I wonder what bits of your own cultural history you would save?

If people are planning to be with friends and family this 4th of July weekend, the question might be a great conversation starter.

So, I pass on this idea, and a few thoughts.

If it is worth saving, it is worth sharing, teaching, discussing, promoting. Lots of us are feeling that we should do something to stop the insanity going on in this country right now, but not sure exactly where to start or what to do.

At 62, with no real talents except cooking and pissing people off left and right, I have now reached the Don’t Give a Red Hot Damn stage in my life, and I feel I do not have a lot to lose in the battles to come, which for me have mostly been fought on social media. Should things escalate I would imagine that there are more than a few cantankerous old people who are also at that stage.

But I do have one other talent and ability, perhaps the most important of my life. I can teach, and I love to, although I am not a professional and have no degree in teaching. I have tutored my own and other kids along the way, and now I have grandchildren.

Those grandchildren will learn things from me. It is time I gave more thought to what exactly I want to spend time teaching them. Of course I have always had books here for them, and my eight year old granddaughter, who loves to read, just asked me to get some longer books to keep here for her. I bought Heidi and Swiss Family Robinson a few months ago. I also keep children’s religious stories and books, and since she had her First Holy Communion recently,  a Bible for her, and some more advanced books dealing with her studies to prepare her for the Sacrament.

So, my point is this. Education and knowledge and influence are weapons and we have the ability to use them. I have a lot of time with my grandchildren, and today is the day to make a little more time for important things, and I don’t just mean books.

I’ve taught some of the kids some cooking basics, as well as started teaching them to bake breads. My husband is a genius at fixing any and everything, and a very good mechanic. He has always taken the time to answer the kids’ questions and let them help him with his projects, and fixing their own broken things.

What talents, skills, and knowledge can you pass on? I might even think about volunteering as a tutor in inner city schools. There are lots of places that people with good intent can pass on what we have to share.

Happy 4th of July Treepers!

Added note: Please read the post. There is a reason for it. It isn’t another post for political rage, sarcasm, anger, and insults. The Treeper who suggested this is going to compose a listing of all your ideas that might be shared. Do we have to make her sort through rants?

This entry was posted in Celebrations, Election 2020, History, Treehouse Campfire, Uncategorized, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

774 Responses to Independence Day Reflections

  1. ediegrey says:

    “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” is one of my favorite movies – it celebrates the American dream and it’s funny!

    Liked by 5 people

    • steph_gray says:

      ediegrey, another “you beat me to it.” I own this movie and have watched it so many times it’s practically memorized.

      The scene at the breakfast table where Cary Grant talks about “that progressive school” his daughters go to is priceless.

      And Bunny Funkhauser!

      Liked by 3 people

      • stripmallgrackle says:

        “Couldn’t we have breakfast, just once, without social significance?” That line stuck with me my whole life, with that perpetually-a-bit-annoyed tone that only Cary Grant could deliver. I saw it on TV one random afternoon, and I thought I’d seen the funniest movie ever made when it was over.

        The scene where Mrs. Blandings painstakingly explains each of the subtle colors she’s chosen for the rooms to the contractor is priceless.

        I’ll add the Thin Man series to the list too. Myrna Loy and William Powell were the original “they must be married on real life” screen couple.

        Liked by 1 person

        • steph_gray says:

          By the way, in what I consider one of the best advertising campaigns in American history, the Benjamin Moore company did a series of magazine spreads, I think it was during the nineties, based on that hilarious scene with the colors Mrs. Blandings picks out.

          Each one showed the scene in black and white, with the dialogue describing the shade she wanted, as an insert to a beautiful two-page spread of a room painted with exactly that variation on the color.

          Business and creativity in one. I loved it.

          Liked by 2 people

    • daylight58 says:

      One of my favorites, too!

      Like

  2. trumpetter says:

    Back in the 1960’s in a small Catholic grade school in St. Paul, MN, we had the most wonderful library. The library was full of biographies on wonderful Americans and I read many. Some of the books that I recall of great Americans.

    George Washington Carver
    Narcissa Whitman
    Virginia Dare
    George Washington
    Abe Lincoln
    Jane Addams
    Booker T. Washington (I confess I didn’t read this one)
    John Quincy Addams
    Betsy Ross

    Most of the founding fathers were there, I tended to read more about the ladies. I loved those books and loved the history. I doubt they are around. My sister lived in Chicago for 25 years and told me the public school system lacks libraries. She was horrified to learn that. I told her that said more about the citizens of Chicago, then the school board.

    Reading was a wonderful gift for me as a child. I pray for all those children that don’t have it.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Alex1689 says:

      Yes! It was a series of biographies in the school library. Often featuring the childhood experiences of great American historical figures. I remember reading about Clara Barton and Helen Keller. That series was fantastic. I wish I could lay my hands on them now.

      Liked by 2 people

    • corimari2013 says:

      Sad to read that Chicago public schools now do not have libraries!
      I was a student in a CPS 1960-1968. At the start of class EVERY morning, students would stand next to their desks, and say The Pledge of Allegiance–hand over heart. We would then listen to one of the 7th or 8th grade classes sing The Star Spangled Banner. They stood out in the hall, so the rest of the classrooms could hear.
      About the school library…it was full of wonderful books! We spent an entire class period in there three times a week, as I recall.
      I read all of Marguerite Henry’s horse novels that were in that library, and all of Walter Farley’s Black-and Island-Stallion books.
      Still love horses and horse stories. Still love my country…even more.

      Liked by 7 people

    • M. Ruby says:

      I read some of those biographies too, in the late 1970s. My third-grade teacher had his own little library in his classroom, and he had a set of them. I remember really liking the George Washington Carver one, and I’ll add Florence Nightingale to your list.

      Liked by 2 people

    • An author Gary Paulson wrote “Hatchet”, “The Haymeadow” and “Harrris and Me”.

      He wrote a lot of other books not all of which I cared for but those three were pretty good ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stephen Jensen says:

    I love to write and read. Favourite books, the Bible, The Red Badge of Courage, A winkle in Time, The Hobbit, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver chair, Princess of Mars, Dune, A US History Book and World History Book.

    Liked by 3 people

    • steph_gray says:

      Dawn Treader includes a wonderful scene. In the slave market, some character tries to say that slavery is “progress.”

      Prince Caspian responds:

      “I have seen progress, in an egg. We call it going bad in Narnia.”

      Always thought that was C.S. Lewis’ swipe that the leftist ideology already sweeping Britain at the time…

      Like

  4. Terry Putnam says:

    Grimms’ Fairy Tales was probably one of the first books I read. As mentioned previously; The Little Engine that Could”.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. F.D.R. in Hell says:

    Liked by 14 people

  6. P says:

    Two of the most accurately depicted Christian movies:
    The Visual Bible The Gospel of John https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mgUPt2KI08
    The Nativity Story godtube.com/watch/?v=KGYKW7NX

    Also highly recommend archiving/keeping:
    Cecil B DeMille’s The Ten Commandments putlocker9.ru/film/the-ten-commandments-1956-1080p/watching.html
    Fiddler on the Roof putlocker9.ru/film/fiddler-on-the-roof-1971-1080p/watching.html
    To Kill a Mockingbird (Book and Movie)
    12 Angry Men (Movie — the older version with Henry Fonda)
    The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit ( Movie with Gregory Peck)
    Grapes of Wrath (Book and Movie with Henry Fonda)

    God bless you, Sundance, and everyone. Don’t lose hope. We’ve read the end of The Story and we know Who wins in the end! This age is soon coming to its end BUT there are ages yet to come. I am confident the most exciting time of our lives is soon to come and it will last forever with Him!

    Luke 21:20-28
    20 ¶ And when ye see Jerusalem besieged with soldiers, then understand that the desolation thereof is near.

    21 Then let them which are in Judea, flee to the mountains: and let them which are in the midst thereof, depart out: and let not them that are in the country, enter therein:

    22 For these be the days of vengeance, to fulfill all things that are written.

    23 But woe be to them that be with child, and to them that give suck in those days: for there shall be great distress in this land, and wrath over this people,

    24 And they shall fall on the edge of the sword, and shall be led captive into all nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden under foot of the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

    25 Then there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth trouble among the nations, with perplexity: the sea and the waters shall roar.

    26 And men’s hearts shall fail them for fear and for looking after those things which shall come on the world: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

    27 And then shall they see the Son of Man come in a cloud, with power and great glory.

    28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads: for your redemption draweth near.

    Ephesians 2:7
    That He might show in the ages to come the exceeding riches of His grace through His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Robin says:

    Oh, and all the original Looney Tunes cartoons.

    Liked by 10 people

    • corimari2013 says:

      Original Looney Tunes are cherished classics! I watched them every Saturday morning, and on WGN-Chicago children’s shows during the weekday afternoons.
      Remember cartoons on Saturday morning TV? And buying comic books at the dime store that featured many of those same characters?

      Liked by 4 people

    • psalm1391216 says:

      I grew up with Rocky and Bullwinkle. In 2018 I had to have a stem cell transplant so I bought them all on prime so I could watch them on the iPad while in the hospital. The doctors, etc. would come in every morning to the sounds of Rocky, Bullwinkle, Boris & Natasha, etc. It would put smiles on their faces – the ones who were old enough to remember. Great dialogue.

      Liked by 4 people

    • stripmallgrackle says:

      The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down was never the same after Warner Bros. added that Hawaiian slide guitar. Daffy Duck sings the lyrics in an early appearance, with a few alterations, if I recall.

      A little trivia. In “One Froggy Evening” Michigan J. Frog sings “Hello Ma Baby” and “I’m Just Wild About Harry”. These were chosen because Warner Bros. owned the rights to both. They were part of an extensive Tin Pan Alley catalog that WB acquired when they bought a failing sheet music publisher in 1929. Publishers were going out of business at a record pace (no pun) due to rocketing sales of the new Victrola record machine, and were available for dimes on the dollar. If it wasn’t for MJF, the song Al Jolson made famous may have been forgotten long before Saturday morning cartoons came along.

      And what about Al Jolson? He was a champion for African-American actors, and the Black Community writ large at a time when taking on such a cause was career suicide. He was admired by his minority contemporaries for bringing their music to a wider audience with his blackface performances, and he worked tirelessly to break through the race barrier and bring black talent to stage and screen.

      His story has been lost in the revisionist past the left presents today as history.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Jolson

      Maybe somebody should archive his Wiki page before it gets edited and memory holed. I’m not up on the how-to. Despite the PC grunting that precedes the section on Jolson and race, the entry preserves the truth.

      Liked by 1 person

    • daylight58 says:

      Top Cat.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sheboyganguy says:

    I don’t know if they can be found, but the classic Boy Scout materials, handbook, merit badge standards, etc. provided a great basis in self reliance, integrity and low key Christian values that served many of us well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • stripmallgrackle says:

      I still have my Dad’s copy. He was Scoutmaster of my troop. I don’t what happened to mine, or why I have Father’s copy, but it will stay with me until the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Robert Forester Smedley Smythe III says:

    Nathaniel Hawthorne was an incredible literary giant, so anything penned by him. For horror Edgar Allen Poe of course. When one thinks of Christmas in a literary way, then Dickens if course is foremost on the mind. It would be shocking to forget about the father of science fiction, Jules Verne. I believe Emily Dickinson would be required as well. I apologize as I could ramble unquietly about Our great writers for some time if allowed.

    Like

  10. Alex1689 says:

    “Caddie Woodlawn” by Carol Ryrie Brink. I loved that book as a child.
    “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott
    “Letters on Slavery” by Rev. John Rankin – as important in their own way as Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
    One of the desecrations committed by the educational establishment even back in my day was to erase the explicitly Christian grounding and origins of both the anti-slavery movement and the civil rights movement, as well as to divorce it from the larger abolitionist movement in Great Britain. You would never know MLK Jr. was a Baptist preacher, and they have put Wilberforce and John Newton down the memory hole. We need to pull them back out.
    I really fear, sometimes, for the interior of the Lincoln Memorial. The scriptural references in the Lincoln quotes engraved there, in particular, are a red flag to the atheist left.

    Like

  11. Peter Rabbit says:

    God did not bring us this far to let us fail. I cherish Old Glory abd all she stands for. She flies proudly in front of my home every day of the year.

    Liked by 7 people

    • treesitter says:

      I too, fly a flag every day of the year.

      Liked by 4 people

    • tojak says:

      Yes, but throwing money at the problem is not the answer…

      We, the Citizens of the United States are going to have to stand up and fix the problem… It is exceedingly obvious that “government” and “law enforcement” do not have the guts to do it.

      Like

  12. devilsdictionary says:

    Killer angels, all the winning of America series by Allan w. Eckert, my antonia.

    Like

  13. Jeff Webb says:

    “John Adams” – a biography by David McCullough. Also by Mr. McCullough, “The Wright Brothers”

    Liked by 5 people

    • stripmallgrackle says:

      I couldn’t believe it when I read that the Wright brothers mothballed the Wright Flyer for eleven years after they proved that powered flight was viable. It was their assumption that, at the time, there was no market for the airplane. WWI changed that, and their first contract was with the federal government.

      Like

  14. Raj Iyer says:

    Dear Treepers: I’m a second generation immigrant sharing what it means to be an American. Growing up in Cincinnati in the 70’s was challenging for lots of reasons. But what gave me strength and immense pride was what I could become in a country of chances. “The pursuit of happiness” was something to strive for. Meritocracy was the way you got ahead. And studying and working hard was the engine that made it happen. At that time, even at a young age, I knew we as Americans could out-work anybody as the American work ethic was legendary! Take heart Treepers because that’s still alive and well. I believe there are enough of us who believe in the idea that is America will endure forever. I think of Neil Diamond’s song “America” a lot because it truly signifies what we’re are all about: a grand nation. So cheers to America today. She truly is beautiful!!

    Liked by 15 people

  15. AmericanGirl says:

    Puff the Magic Dragon, Peter, Paul and Mary
    A Little Good News, Anne Murray
    Calypso, John Denver
    A real Dictionary
    Currie Brothers Company, Wisconsin Seed Catalog from the early 1900’s
    Stickley Furniture
    Bakelite… phones, jewelry
    Recreation Vehicles
    Pick Up Trucks and American Muscle cars
    Our National Anthem as sung by Whitney Huston
    Jacques Cousteau TV shows
    Wild America
    Motown Music
    Grand Old Opery
    Elvis, all including his Gospel songs
    Christian Hymnals and every Christmas Song
    All of our Armed Services fight songs

    High Flight

    “Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds –
    and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of –
    wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
    Hovering there I’ve chased the shouting wind along
    and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
    “Up, up the long delirious burning blue
    I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
    where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
    and, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
    the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    put out my hand and touched the face of God.”

    I could go on but the last was for my Father. He gave his Last Full Measure for our America. Leaving behind his widow of 27 years old and 5 small children to carry his name between the ages of 9 and 2.
    May the sun always shine on our United States of America!

    Liked by 7 people

    • cheering4america says:

      A real Dictionary! Excellent. I have been wishing I would have kept more of them from decades ago, when words meant what they meant.

      Thank you for your father’s immeasurable gift and your terrible loss.

      God Bless America.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Lovearepublican says:

    George Orwell’s 1984.

    Liked by 7 people

    • dd_sc says:

      And Animal Farm

      Liked by 4 people

      • steph_gray says:

        Brave New World. A dystopia steeped in no meaning beyond sex and drugs, families unknown.

        Then again, I am also a big fan of Robert A. Heinlein, whose books were often sex romps -but with brilliantly prophetic observations about where American could end up politically one day. A very patriotic s-f writer. I think often of the scene in Stranger In a Strange Land where the President of the United States is just another functionary in a globalist government – chilling.

        Liked by 3 people

        • steph_gray says:

          Whoops, sorry for the bad HTML tag. I need more covfefe.

          Liked by 1 person

        • stripmallgrackle says:

          “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress”

          He had a knack for poetic titles too.

          Like

          • stripmallgrackle says:

            A naval officer, if I recall.

            In “Tunnel in the Sky” Heinlein introduces the Transmat, an early example of teleporting. Heinlein presented it as a technology that was a CODEC for mass, and because it transported information instead of matter, part of the plot revolved around the debate about whether ‘you’ actually came out after transmatting to the receiving Transmat.

            A quasi-religion, State run, was established to overcome fear and skepticism, and the Figurehead/High-Priest/President whose job it was to promote the Transmat was, behind the scenes, terrified of transmatting, and never used it to travel himself.

            How contemporary.

            Like

  17. Mrs. E says:

    The songs of Stephen Foster and other American songwriters. We never hear of them anymore, yet we sang them in schools when we were growing up. Schools of the 50s and 60s.

    Liked by 8 people

  18. Kimi says:

    My contribution would be 3 books: The Federalist papers, The anti-Federalist papers and The Wealth of Nations. Also a few documents: The Magna Carta, The Declaration of Independence and our beloved Constitution. I have found much solace in these books/documents over the years and have made sure my children have heard/read many stories related to our founding. Our country was not birthed in “perfection” and our children need to understand that. We have, however, created a system of government that has lifted millions out of poverty and violence. I would also add Tucker Carlson’s “Ship of Fools” as the last piece to explain WHO was wrong with our country to counter the WHAT is wrong with us argument! HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. thrawlbrauna says:

    Happy 4th of July everyone! Hope this message finds you all safe and in good spirits. Sending this from beautiful Southern California (OC specifically). Planning to BBQ some ribs and tri-tip with family at my house with a dip in the pool (We will be bringing this up Sundance!). No fireworks this year it seems but we’ve got our own local parade going and a 60-70+ hot-rod parade that’s going through the area as well. Enjoy your 4th and always be prepared to defend your freedom Americans!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pelayo says:

    Wonderful idea. Celebrating our national Holidays always make me thankful that my Parents migrated to the US in the early 1950’s from Puerto Rico but none more than Thanksgiving – a quintessential American holiday. Every Thanksgiving the Wall Street Journal reprints two essays that capture the American experiment and journey: 1) an essay from 1620 by William Bradford which commemorates how God’s hand was part of our founding at Plymouth Colony called ,”The Desolate Wilderness” and 2) another essay called “The Fair Land” written in the 1960’s which looks back at our country’s history and what a debt of gratitude we owe those intrepid Pilgrim’s.

    THE DESOLATE WILDERNESS
    Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

    So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.

    When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.

    The next day they went on board, and their friends with them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other’s heart, that sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from tears. But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took their leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them.

    Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succour; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts.

    Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew.

    If they looked behind them, there was a mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.

    THE FAIR LAND
    Any one whose labors take him into the far reaches of the country, as ours lately have done, is bound to mark how the years have made the land grow fruitful.

    This is indeed a big country, a rich country, in a way no array of figures can measure and so in a way past belief of those who have not seen it. Even those who journey through its Northeastern complex, into the Southern lands, across the central plains and to its Western slopes can only glimpse a measure of the bounty of America.

    And a traveler cannot but be struck on his journey by the thought that this country, one day, can be even greater. America, though many know it not, is one of the great underdeveloped countries of the world; what it reaches for exceeds by far what it has grasped.

    So the visitor returns thankful for much of what he has seen, and, in spite of everything, an optimist about what his country might be. Yet the visitor, if he is to make an honest report, must also note the air of unease that hangs everywhere.

    For the traveler, as travelers have been always, is as much questioned as questioning. And for all the abundance he sees, he finds the questions put to him ask where men may repair for succor from the troubles that beset them.

    His countrymen cannot forget the savage face of war. Too often they have been asked to fight in strange and distant places, for no clear purpose they could see and for no accomplishment they can measure. Their spirits are not quieted by the thought that the good and pleasant bounty that surrounds them can be destroyed in an instant by a single bomb. Yet they find no escape, for their survival and comfort now depend on unpredictable strangers in far-off corners of the globe.

    How can they turn from melancholy when at home they see young arrayed against old, black against white, neighbor against neighbor, so that they stand in peril of social discord. Or not despair when they see that the cities and countryside are in need of repair, yet find themselves threatened by scarcities of the resources that sustain their way of life. Or when, in the face of these challenges, they turn for leadership to men in high places—only to find those men as frail as any others.

    So sometimes the traveler is asked whence will come their succor. What is to preserve their abundance, or even their civility? How can they pass on to their children a nation as strong and free as the one they inherited from their forefathers? How is their country to endure these cruel storms that beset it from without and from within?

    Of course the stranger cannot quiet their spirits. For it is true that everywhere men turn their eyes today much of the world has a truly wild and savage hue. No man, if he be truthful, can say that the specter of war is banished. Nor can he say that when men or communities are put upon their own resources they are sure of solace; nor be sure that men of diverse kinds and diverse views can live peaceably together in a time of troubles.

    But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere—in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.

    We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.

    And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Mrs. E says:

    ALSO this poem, “The Song of Hiawatha”

    https://www.hwlongfellow.org/poems_poem.php?pid=62

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Reflections?

    Remember when the American dream included being able to leave your home without fear of being mugged; and your home still being there – in one piece – when you came back; and you could find a job when you wanted to work; and you respected the police department and other peoples’ property; and the “news” told facts and figures and not biased opinions.

    And when you stood for the National Anthem; and the 4th of July parades when everyone took off their hat when the flag was carried by; and you respected other people’s religion and beliefs; and your parents taught you to say “yes please” and “no thank-you”; and schools taught US History and you recited the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of every school day; and you were proud to serve in the military and you were thankful for those who did.

    The good old days may never come back and that is our childrens’ and grand childrens’ loss. How do we fix it?

    Liked by 4 people

  23. shevee says:

    FORGET THE MUSICAL, HAMILTON…
    I carve out a couple of hours each Independence Day to watch my favorite musical “1776” and also blast the soundtrack in my car with the windows down!
    If you’ve never seen 1776, watch the entire movie here for free–it’s well worth it: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ngcau

    Liked by 4 people

    • jazzbogie says:

      i was just going to post “1776.” When my son was growing up, we watched it every July 4th. This year, he’s here, 31 years old, and he asked me if we could watch it again. i bought a blue-ray copy because I am getting afraid that they are going to take these away from streaming and the internet. i am building a library.

      Also the “John Adams” series that was on PBS. “Band of Brothers”. “The Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance.” “Ben Hur.” Of course, “Gone With The Wind.” “The Last of the Mohicans.”

      Books: “The Crucible.” “The Red Badge of Courage”. “Cold Mountain”.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. UppityNigel says:

    This may be more obscure, but for me it is the writing of Harold Bell Wright. I have a set of his books left to me by my grandfather. I only recently found a reference that one of Wright’s books (That Printer of Udell’s) was a favorite of Ronald Reagan and inspired his religious faith. The themes of faith, self-reliance, and perseverance are woven with an inspiring viewpoint in Americana. Any of his books would be a great read over the 4th weekend.

    My other recommendation was already mentioned: Atlas Shrugged. I include this book with every high school graduation gift we send – sometimes over the objections of my lovely wife 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Menagerie says:

      I have read Shepherd of the Hills so many, many times that I have lost count. First read it when I was maybe 11 or 12 and I read it at least every year or so.

      Liked by 3 people

  25. sarasotosfan says:

    Back in the late 60’s it was either “Parade” or The Daily News that published a Sunday pullout of “Casey at the Bat” that was beautifully illustrated. I saved it intending to frame it. I still have it, somewhere.

    Thanks for reminding me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • stripmallgrackle says:

      I read it all the way through for the first time about twelve years ago, and it really choked me up. I thought I knew what it was all about, because, like everyone else, I knew the closing lines.

      I printed a copy for the kid next door that day. He came over to hang out from time to time. I was disappointed when he was about as interested in sitting down to read it as I was when I was his age. Maybe one day Sam will remember it and have enough curiosity to look it up for himself.

      Like

  26. Twenty short years or so ago, as the web was beginning to show such extraordinary promise at providing voluminous information at one’s fingerprints, it became fashionable to start off-loading one’s books, photos, records, compact discs etc.
    My only contribution at this point is to simply urge everyone to begin to hoard your hard-copies of everything while adding significantly to your collections, in other words, to take the opportunity to attend second-hand book sales without being as choosy as before. If you’re a musician preserve and acquire valuable musical scores etc. In general, whatever your area of expertise, begin a process of acquisition. Another simple suggestion is to go to beloved topics or documents currently on the web (history, art, science etc) and print out hard copies for preservation
    The Left awaits with bated breath the opportunity to re-write all of history. Our hard-copies of knowledge and factual memory will effectively blunt their evil and destructive enterprise.
    God bless America!

    Liked by 9 people

    • vikingmom says:

      Absolutely agree!! Hard copies of books that cannot be altered – I have used a Kindle but it’s not the same AND it can be altered through “updates” and who would eve know unless they had an original book for comparison?

      No sure if they have been mentioned but would definitely recommend the Little House of the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls WIlder, as well as Little House in the Ozarks, a collection of newspaper columns written during her time living on her farm in Missouri in the first part of the 20th Century. They contain history, practical advice, and amazing common sense that is sorely lacking today!

      Liked by 3 people

    • LizzieinTexas says:

      Especially children’s books. A few years ago they said the ink in older children books had some dangerous substance in it (ink). I haven’t seen too many since then but before that the antique mall I brows had shelves and shelves of them.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. jimrockfish says:

    Things that I cherish and want to preserve because of their meaning:

    Neil Armstrong’s official white space suit portrait from the Apollo missions. Not Gemini
    The Civil War: A Narrative by Shelby Foote all 3 volumes
    King James Version of The Holy Bible

    I think we could all fill a book once we get going so I’ll stop at just these three off the top of my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. DPDave says:

    Anything Norman Rockwell

    Liked by 4 people

  29. BobC says:

    I’ve also remembered a TV show that never gets a mention now: ‘Highway Patrol’ starring Broderick Crawford. As law and order is very much a matter of concern today this show seems to fit and could be worth preserving. As the title rolled the off-camera voice intoned:

    “Whenever laws are broken a duly authorized force swings into action. It may called the State Troopers, State Police, Militia, Rangers, or…..The Highway Patrol. These are the stories of the men whose training, skill, and courage have enforced and preserved our state laws.”

    Seems ever more relevant now than in 1955-1959 when I was glued to it!!

    Liked by 5 people

  30. stella says:

    Songs: America The Beautiful, The Battle Hymn of the Republic
    Movies: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, It’s A Wonderful Life
    Books: The “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    Liked by 5 people

    • steph_gray says:

      Great choices.

      Also “A Christmas Story” – so funny and so evocative of the times.

      Actually, ALL the Christmas movies! They may be coming after them in droves this coming winter…

      Of all the many renditions of “A Christmas Carol,” my favorite is the Mr. Magoo’s cartoon from the sixties – mainly because it was a musical and the songs are terrific. I watch it every year while cooking, without fail.

      And speaking of that, there was a good little movie out a couple of years ago describing how Dickens came to write the book: “The Man Who Invented Christmas.” A little modern license, but not too much – it was well done.

      Liked by 5 people

      • boogywstew says:

        My pick for greatest “A Christmas Carol” movie is the1951 British “Scrooge” as it was titled in Britain and released as “A Christmas Carol” here. Starring Alastair Sim in beautiful black and white.

        Like

  31. markmurraybooks says:

    I ask you a simple question, What American Cultural Treasure Chest did the Founding Fathers have? None. Instead, they had experience, intelligence, wisdom, courage, wit, critical thinking, knowledge, perseverance, and true grit. It’s nice to wax philosophically about monuments and treasures, but in these times, it hasn’t gotten us anywhere. No, this isn’t a post with sarcasm or anger, you asked for suggestions for an “American Cultural Treasure Chest”. This is my answer.

    Teach your children to hunt, fish, and camp. Make them aware of life and death in Nature. How Nature is beautiful but also cruel and inhumane. Guns are the great equalizer but taking a life is always the extreme last resort. The person you save today may be the one who helps you later. Hunting and fishing provide excellent areas to teach strategy and tactics. Make sure they know how to survive.

    Teach your children critical thinking skills. Have them able to read the lines, through the lines, see the tree, know the forest, cut through lies while understanding Truth. Make them understand not only their own blindness but how to go about opening their eyes to see to the heart of the matter. Make sure they have the skills to critically assess the world around them.

    Teach your children there are differences in men and women. Foundational, genetic differences that are neither good nor bad. There are strengths and weaknesses in each. Teach them never to judge someone upon looks, but rather upon actions, words and deeds. Do not allow the darkness to blind them to a person’s spirit. Neither shape, weight, color, sex, nor age makes a whit of difference to the actions of Patriots. Give to them the understanding that while you might not want to be a Trans-Bi-Metrosexual, that person might become another Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Reagan, or any number of foundational people. Make sure they know that what’s seen on the outside is never any indication of what’s on the inside.

    Give your children a rite to adulthood. Not everyone gets a prize. There are winners and losers in life. There is deception and betrayal. Greed and corruption. These things will be encountered out in the world. Children must not only be taught of these things, but must also pass from being a child into an adult. Moderation in all things is not just a saying. If you remove bullying 100% from schools, how do children learn to overcome it? Extreme bullying should be stopped, but if there is none at all, how do children then grow into functioning adults, able to navigate the Nature-filled world? Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Teach them to be sure of themselves, to know who they are, to know their limits, to push beyond them. And when it’s time, let them experience a passage into adulthood. Mark it well. Make them proud of who they now are.

    Finally, do these things throughout your life, not just with your children. All those monuments and treasures were at one time nonexistent. Men and women who had the fortitude walked through the world in deed and action. They either created their own monument to the world or those who came after built them. The United States of America needs more of the former than any of the latter. Remember the Alamo was never about saving that small Mission Building monument from decaying into dust. It was the rallying cry for free men to join together with those few, brave souls who gave their all for the Founding Father’s ideals of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

    That is the American Cultural Treasure Chest I’d like to see.

    Liked by 12 people

  32. jay says:

    Johnny Cash Ragged Old Flag

    Liked by 5 people

  33. Raised on Reagan says:

    I nominate this clip from the original Star Trek episode The Omega Glory.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Esperanza says:

      Anything “Tos”. It will be cancelled . Kirk spent way too much time fancying aliens…I have lost my set of the first series, and I know l need to buy anew one.

      Like

  34. tuskyou says:

    **Schoolhouse Rock**

    I don’t suggest this for laughs. The songs about the Declaration of Independence, how a bill becomes law, a noun is a person place or thing, etc. These songs (and images from the cartoons) are etched into my brain. I see no downside to Conjunction Junction or Electricity, Electricity.

    The stuff from the later years didn’t stick with me as much but the earlier stuff is pure gold.

    Liked by 5 people

  35. annieoakley says:

    “The Matchlock Gun” by Walter D. Edmonds. Newberry award winning book that will surely be trashed if the Commies find out it exists. 1756 during the French and Indian War is the setting.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. William Berry says:

    Uncle Remus. although the back story Romanticizes slavery, something very hard to forgive, the tales handed down by Uncle Remus are authentic representations of a priceless African American folk culture which would have been lost to posterity had Mr Harris not so brilliantly re-enacted the character of the storyteller.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. LizzieinTexas says:

    Not my final answer but close..

    I am your Flag
    I was born on June 14th, 1777.
    I am more than just cloth shaped into a design.
    I am the refuge of the World’s oppressed people.
    I am the silent sentinel of Freedom.
    I am the emblem of the greatest sovereign nation on earth.
    I am the inspiration for which American Patriots gave their lives and fortunes.
    I have led your sons into battle from Valley Forge to the bloody swamps of Viet Nam.
    I walk in silence with each of your Honored Dead, to their final resting place beneath the silent White Crosses, row upon row.
    I have flown through Peace and War, Strife and Prosperity, and amidst it all I have been respected.
    My Red Stripes . . . symbolize the blood spilled in defense of this glorious nation.
    My White Stripes . . . signify the burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons.
    My Blue Field. . . is indicative of God’s heaven under which I fly.
    My Stars . . . clustered together, unify 50 States as one, for God and Country.
    “Old Glory” is my nickname, and proudly I wave on high.
    Honor me, respect me, defend me with your lives and your fortunes.
    Never let my enemies tear me down from my lofty position, lest I never return.
    Keep alight the fires of patriotism, strive earnestly for the spirit of democracy.
    Worship Eternal God and keep His commandments, and I shall remain the bulwark of peace and freedom for all mankind.

    I am your Flag.

    Liked by 7 people

  38. I would include Milton Friedman’s “Free to Choose” series. It is understandable and explains and honors the economic system of freedom – Capitalism

    Liked by 3 people

  39. Len Endres says:

    Steven Cranes’ “Red Badge of Courage”

    Liked by 3 people

  40. Pelayo says:

    “Do you believe in miracles? Yes”

    Broadcaster Al Michaels’ words from Feb. 22, 1980, are frozen in time, still instantly identifiable 35 years after a team of amateur Olympians representing the United States beat a seemingly unbeatable Soviet national hockey team as the Cold War again was intensifying. ‘Do you believe in miracles? Yes!’Feb 22, 2015

    The day I knew the US would win the Cold War.

    I would also add the book, The Crusader by Paul Kengor about Reagan and his determination to defeat communism. Hard to imagine that we would have any chance to win the cultural war we are in without the legacy of Reagan. Stream of consciousness at this point but wouldn’t a new Mt. Rushmore with Reagan, Thatcher, Pope John Paul and Lech Walesa be a reminder on how leadership matters.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. shevee says:

    From the 2003 SuperBowl, this version of the Star Spangled Banner gives me chills every time I hear it. It’s by the Dipsy Chicks but don’t let that stop you from listening to it! And also notice that none of the players took a knee. It’s amazing how much change for the worse the Woke Folks have brought to this great nation in just a few short years.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Prof. Woland says:

    We are becoming a “Samizdat” culture much the same way the USSR was. And the more hideous the counter culture becomes, the more cool and beautiful we will be. Part of the reason for the suppression of social media and the absolute intolerance of any criticism of blacks or minorities and their sub-cultures is that they cannot compare or stand the light of day. Don’t ever doubt, we will win.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Mariposa323 says:

    Happy Fourth Treepers!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Burns says:

    “Where the red fern grows”. Save that book, thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  45. An American short story I remember reading and discussing in elementary school … “The Man Without a Country”.

    Liked by 4 people

  46. Mari in SC says:

    Red Skelton’s explanation of the Pledge of Allegiance. You can read it at http://barefootsworld.org/the_pledge.html or watch it at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hJNL_rhGDq4.

    I had never heard this before someone posted it on Weasel Zippers last night.

    I lovd this post and have been thinking about it. I suggest writing down the stories of your family – yourself, siblings, parents, etc., to pass on to your children and their descendants. My grandfather did this after he retired and we have some great stories. I can give you a detailed description of how an ice house worked although my daughter thought the story about his brother getting a pitch fork through the foot was both terrifying and funny. I learned how hard they worked, too. Over decades of farming, they only missed the milk train pickup once, when one of his brothers was burned. I know in his words how he met grandmother and how she helped save the life of a neighborhood boy when his sled hit the wheel of a dump truck. Write down your own history and memories.

    Liked by 3 people

  47. bessie2003 says:

    The collected works of the poet Robert Service.

    Liked by 1 person

    • merry says:

      a bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malemute Saloon Oh, yeah. know it by heart. an uncle recited it by the light of our Friday night bonfires
      and now Sam McGee was from Tennessee..
      yep save Service even if only in your memory

      Liked by 1 person

  48. M. Ruby says:

    Works by the Hudson River School of American landscape painters. My personal favorite is Frederic Edwin Church. While the scenes seem romanticized by the use of lighting, to me they’re an homage to the spirit of America as the “shining city on a hill.”

    Movie: The Crossing (starring Jeff Daniels) created by A&E television. I thought this was a stellar example—from cinematography, to acting, to soundtrack—of bringing history to life. It covers the days leading up to George Washington and the Continental Army crossing the Delaware river to attack the Hessians at Trenton in December 1776.

    Television show and movie: Firefly and Serenity, written and directed by Joss Whedon, and described as an “American space Western.” If you can get past the oddness of that combination, you’ll get a good story with a healthy dose of humor. There are conservative undertones with the rugged individualism of Captain Mal and his crew and the underlying anti-Socialism message (involving a government trying to perfect people and create a “heaven on Earth”).

    The poems of Robert Frost: while I think of “Nothing Gold Can Stay” every time I walk in the woods in early Spring, I consider—much to the chagrin of literary critics, I’m sure—”The Road Not Taken” as an embodiment of the American spirit in the sense of having the opportunity to make your own choices, however small.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. Walter Cronkite on November 22, 1963, and July 20, 1969.

    Robert Raurk, “Old Man and the Boy”.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. dd_sc says:

    Hope this works – Monument at Kings Mountain:

    Battle of Kings Mountain – https://www.battlefields.org/learn/revolutionary-war/battles/kings-mountain

    Get out and see these monuments while you can; preserve them with photographs.

    Liked by 4 people

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