My husband and I watched the movie Gettysburg last night on the 150th anniversary of that battle. Over 250,000 visitors are gathering on the battlefield in Gettysburg, PA this weekend to watch re-enactors stage the three day battle where 53,000 of our countrymen died fighting for what they believed in. It is a part of our history. In the movie, when General Lee realizes what the date is he says to his aide, “God has a sense of humor.”
Two years later the union was preserved when the South surrendered at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, April 9, 1865. We are a diverse country and yet we persevere. I hope we are still here in spite of all our differences in another 150 years.
Today we celebrate the founding of our country that started with 13 tentative colonies with very different ideas of what they wanted, but one goal — freedom from England. Did you know that only 10% of the population in the colonies wanted revolution when it stated? Did you know that the resolution on Independence almost did not pass because of a difference on opinion over slavery? If we do not learn from history, then we are bound to repeat the mistakes and suffer the same consequences. The issues may change but the results of our actions or inaction will repeat themselves until we learn and change. Our own national history shows us that.
I encourage you and your children and grandchildren to read history – fictionalized and nonfiction – it is important for us to know where we have been and who we are. Now, go out and enjoy this day. Attend a parade, go on a picnic, grill out, and go to the fireworks tonight. It’s our Birthday!