On this day in 1996, the movie Independence Day came out starring Will Smith and Bill Pullman. It was genius marketing because America was battling Aliens on the anniversary date of establishing independence. Can’t you feel the patriotism?? Why bring up this movie, because, while it is about an Alien invasion, it has one of the best speeches for American patriotism:
“Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. ‘Mankind.’ That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day.”
There are wonderful speeches in real history. Ones that rest on moments that changed the country, or even the world. Yet, sometimes literature and entertainment can grant the most compelling, thought-provoking speeches. People talk about them and remember them well after the “publication date.” That is part of why I love to write. Literature has the opportunity to capture the attention of many, posing questions and inspiring nations.
I will be enjoying family time today as we watch the fireworks and celebrate this country. It is not perfect, but it is where I call home. May you find your own inspiration in literature today…wherever you are.