Monday, July 3, 2017

Saint Independence Day

Its Saint Independence day again.

Over the years, I have grown to honestly dislike Saint Independence day. 

It has been - and still is - a day on which we commemorate our violent separation from our mother land, simultaneously both matter-of-factly and oddly defensively recalling all our justifications for doing so.  In today's climate, infected with rabid tribalism, it also commemorates our growing lack of interdependence on the rest of the world.

American flags fly like a combination of victory flag and trademark to freedom.  A symbolism of  a memory of days gone by.  Days that really sucked for most Americans. The War for American Independence - like most wars - sucked for most of the people fighting it.  We look back into history and we can remember the ones that had enough time and money to write letters. [Histories of this era are built largely out of self-documentation.]  We document our past by their past.  We teach our children [who have not been left behind] that their past is linked to the past of these wealthy white people and that those same letter-writing, self-documentors deserve our reverence for having freed us from those other wealthy white people who so unfairly governed us.

But when we're honest about things, their past really wasn't our past.   Their past was the past of those people owning vast acres of land or industry.   The history of the common worker is tallied in the part of the story that mentions how many people died at this or that battle.   With the deaths of their husbands and brothers and sons, women most often lost their farm to the bank for non-payment of leins.   If you really want to know how the War for American Independence effected your ancestors, start by looking in the records of the churchs and the banks.

We are certainly free from something.   When you figure out what that is, you let me know.

PS1...In full disclosure, none of my family was in the American Colonies at the time of the War for American Independence, so my references to "our" are current-day.

PS2...For that matter, none of my family was ever in any war for independence.  My ancestors had left France for Canada before the French Revolution and the Canadians haven't had a revolution [yet].

PS3...Maybe next year I'll skip Saint Independence Day.

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