I have to admit that the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. There are no gifts to buy. I don’t have to do any decorating. It’s a holiday that has very little in the way of expectations accompanying it. What could be better than that?
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Besides, who doesn’t love a good fireworks display? I’m a sucker for those brightly colored explosions in the sky. I remember attending a fireworks display years ago with my mother and grandmother. We were sitting on the edge of a canyon and could see across to the other side where the show was set up. We had a perfect view of what goes on behind the scenes.
Fireworks displays don’t always go according to plan
So we’re “oohing” and “ahhing” when all of the sudden we see men scrambling frantically on the other side of the canyon. We also notice that the fireworks are no longer being appropriately accompanied by the music. The sky, however, is ablaze with more fireworks than I’ve ever seen.
Yes, you guessed it. Something was amiss.
Apparently, something had gone wrong and fireworks were going off simultaneously instead of in the pre-planned sequence.
It was beautiful. But it was also scary to watch from across the way. Fortunately, they got things under control and the only harm was that the event ended a bit earlier than planned.
But if you prefer your celebratory activities to take place indoors, here are a few movie suggestions to help you enjoy the spirit that makes this country great.
Awesome Independence Day Movies
1776: Staring Ken Howard, William Daniels, and Blythe Danner, this movie was originally a Broadway play. I was fortunate enough to see it performed on stage at the Texas state fair during the Bicentennial year. I later used the movie when I taught American History to eighth graders. The movie brings the founding fathers to life and the music makes it easy to remember facts which might otherwise be forgotten.
This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I dare you to watch the final scene, where they sign the Declaration of Independence knowing that they are literally putting their lives on the line by committing what Great Britain considers treason, and not ponder questions about bravery, duty, and liberty. No matter how many times I see this movie, this scene still puts a lump in my throat.
[bctt tweet=”I dare you to watch the final scene of 1776 and not get a lump in your throat.” username=”sasmerchant”]
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington: Jimmy Stewart stars as the idealistic young senator who has to stand up to corruption. I suspect that no matter what political party you vote for, you’ll wish that we could send Mr. Smith back to Washington today.
Independence Day (1996): Watching the people of the world come together to fight alien invaders who are determined to take over our planet gives me hope that our world can work together for a common good. In fact, if cooperation, harmony, and peace on our planet would result, I’d be rooting for the aliens to bring it on. Of course, it’s also an action film, which is my favorite. And it’s hard to beat Will Smith at his peak. Just lots of fun for the whole family.
The Patriot: Mel Gibson stars as a colonist in a movie that shows the complexities of those living during these times. Seldom is an issue as cut and dried as it’s portrayed in history books, and this movie shows how political decisions affected a common family during an uncommon time.
April Morning: I have to admit that I haven’t seen this one yet. In fact, I’d never heard of it till I began working on this post. It’s about the morning after Paul Revere’s ride and since I’ve always been a fan of Tommy Lee Jones, this one is going on my list.
I was surprised how many movies have been made on this topic. Most of them are much older movies but if you happen to be a movie buff (like I am) and enjoy older movies, you’ll find quite a selection to choose from should you decide to host a movie-thon after you’ve moved your celebration indoors.
Whatever your plans to celebrate our nation’s birth, I wish you happy, and safe, 4th of July!