Happy Fourth of July and a happiest of Independence Days to you and yours! On this first Wise Guise Fourth of July post of mine, I thought I’d go retro, and share with you a Facebook Note that I wrote and published 3 years ago on this very day.
I was in Atlanta, GA at Teach For America Institute. Even though I was with new friends and had a lovely day, I still missed my family and friends back home in Memphis and Nashville. So, being the social media savant that I was/am, I decided to share my love of all things American via a Facebook note. How far I’ve come!
So, without further adieu, I present to you my Top 10 American YouTube Countdown from 2009. I had to update some of the links, but the message, the videos, and most importantly, the patriotism are stronger today than ever before… Enjoy!
I wish everyone a happy Independence Day and I hope you take the time today to reflect on this country’s storied history, the sacrifice of all those who have given and continue to give of themselves for our freedom, security, and prosperity.
On this day filled with remembrance, family, friends, celebration, fireworks, Will Smith, baseball, hot-dog eating contests, swimming, Lee Greenwood, and war movies on TV, I wanted to take a few moments to share with you my 2012 (the artist formerly known as the 2009) Top 10 American/Independence-Themed YouTube Videos.
Celebrate accordingly. And freely. Obviously.
10. America’s Fight Song: Every Top 10 list has to start out with a bang, or in this case, a boot… after all, it’s the American Way!
9. America’s Mr. Smith: Whenever I feel down and jaded about politics or culture in America today, I return to ol’ faithful… Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra! Gets me every time…
8. America’s HBO Mini-Series: To take nothing away from the all-time greats Band of Brothers and The Pacific, but ON THIS DAY, we must commemorate one of the men who forged this country from nothing. To John Adams!
7. America’s Wonder Years: The final scene of a great show that captured the tumult of a time in our nation’s history in which everything was changing… through the eyes of a boy growing into a man.
6. America’s Childhood Summers: Nothing captures American youth better than The Sandlot. And nothing ever will.
5. America’s Song: Goosebumps. Every time. Including the 25 to 50 times I listen to it around July 4th each year. To paraphrase John Lennon, you may call me cheesy, but I’m not the only one…
4. America’s Anthem: Speaks for itself. Marvin Gaye channeling Francis Scott Key. THIS is America.
3. America’s Speech: Great presidential speech. Or greatest presidential speech of all time?!?!? #BillPullman2012
2. America’s Sacrifice: On a serious note, it’s important to remember all that have died to allow us to celebrate freely and goofily with our friends and family today. Few scenes capture that like the opening to Saving Private Ryan.
1. America’s Declaration: I showed this to each U.S. History and U.S. Government class I taught. I saw it for the first time in Mrs. Ervin’s class in 11th grade AP U.S. History. American movie stars reciting one of the greatest pieces of writing in all of human history. Everything changed when this was declared, on this day, in 1776.
May God Bless the United States of America,
(America’s Blessing: )
And now, for the first annual WISE GUISE PATRIOTIC AMERICAN AWARD… there was only one man who could receive it this year. A man who truly lived the American dream, rising from nothing to becoming all-time American icon. Someone who taught us how to give grace and stand for justice. Someone who personified the best in all of us even when he couldn’t live up to that standard in real life. Someone who made us laugh and made us cry. There are few people in the last century who have subtly influenced culture and Americana more than him. And it was a sad day yesterday when we lost him forever.
But he lives on in our memories, in syndication, and in the lessons and laughs we pass on to the next generations of Americans. We’re better off because of him and the next generation will be too.
THE INAUGURAL WISE GUISE PATRIOTIC AMERICAN AWARD GOES TO… ANDY GRIFFITH!!!
As one of the most poignant obituaries wrote yesterday, “In 2002, a statue of Sheriff Andy Taylor and son Opie was erected in Raleigh’s Pullen Park. The inscription is the perfect summation of the show they made famous and, in many ways, the role the public demanded Andy Griffith play for the rest of his life: ‘The Andy Griffith Show – A simpler time, a sweeter place, a lesson, a laugh, a father and a son.’”
Couldn’t sum it up any better myself. On this day, this scene is especially poignant:
And even though I could provide hundreds of links such as this one, I think perhaps the most important one for those of us in busier and more hectic modern times than ever, is a simple scene from an episode I never fully understood as a kid but understand quite well.