Click on the title to see a video of Jay Leno asking people American History trivia questions. You will be amazed (hopefully) at the flat out stupid answers that some of these people give. At first I laughed but as the video went on I became more and more angry at an education system that would let so many people get through without the most basic knowledge of the history of our country. At the end of the video I just wanted to cry. Wouldn't it be cool if we could all do something to educate ourselves in American history in celebration of Independence day? How about reading a book about a founding father or visiting a museum, or going to a patriotic gathering? Last year on July 4th I went to St John's Church in Richmond Virginia with my daughter and her friend to listen to a reenactment of Patrick Henry's stirring speech, "give me liberty or give me death." It was an awesome way to remember the difficult circumstances and uncertainty that the American colonists were facing during the days before the American Revolution. Many of them were unsure as to whether going to war would be the best solution. Patrick Henry reminded them that regardless of what they thought, the British were coming and were determined for war. He assured the uncertain colonists that it was better to accept the reality of war and to be prepared to fight rather than lose everything they had worked for. He then proclaimed that as for himself, "give me liberty or give me death." His words stirred up the colonists and gave them the resolve and determination they needed to face the British. Hopefully we all know the rest of the story!
Patrick Henry's words are a timeless message for today, reminding us that we have faced difficult and uncertain times before and that we can prevail once again if we remember what we stand for and what we are fighting for. So on this Independence Day let's make his words "give me liberty or give me death" our own and pass them on to future generations of Americans. Let's take heart that there will be future generations and they WILL be Americans and let's resolve to better educate them in American History! God bless America and happy Independence Day!