Jimmy Stewart: Look! There it is!
Eugene Pallette: What? Who?
Jimmy Stewart: The Capitol Dome!
That three second scene from Frank Capra's movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, encapsulates the way you and I feel about America. I guess we learned our patriotism at Mr. Smith's knee.
Now, some people go through life "all wised up" as Jean Arthur says in the movie. Cynical. Gritty. They're the ones who growl, "America was never great" and are keen to destroy the glow of glory surrounding our national heroes by telling us how bad they really were. What a sad way of living!
I'm not made that way and neither are you. When it comes to America, we're pure idealists because America is herself an Ideal.
Like Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, I believe the word "America" should always glow in our minds, always bring a lump to the throat, always conjure an image of a shining city on a hill.
Generations come, generations go. America the Ideal always remains. Always striving, sometimes misstepping, correcting her course, always progressing. Sometimes glowing bright, sometimes dimmer. But always inching closer and closer to that Ideal dreamt by our Founding Fathers and encapsulated in our beloved Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.
As Jimmy Stewart said...
Boys forget what their country means
by just reading "the land of the free" in history books.
Then they get to be men--
they forget even more.
Liberty is too precious a thing
to be buried in books....
Men should hold it up in front of them--
every day of their lives and say:
"I'm free--to think--to speak.
My ancestors couldn't.
And my children will."
The boys outta grow up remembering that.
Every Election Year reminds us to "hold it up in front of" us and marvel that we are "free--to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn't. I can."
Wife, caregiver, writer, patriot. Click here to learn more about me, my husband Michael and his courageous battle against terminal lung disease.