Skip to comments.DAD, WHAT's UNABHÄNGIGKEITSTAG?
Posted on 07/04/2016 8:09:11 AM PDT by nathanbedford
DAD, WHAT's UNABHÄNGIGKEITSTAG?
"Is that when the thirteen colonies broke away from England?" My ten year inquired out of nowhere at 6 AM German time this morning. "Yeah, why do you want to know, eat your breakfast," I mumbled, too sleepy to be very curious. "Because I am afraid my teacher will ask me, since I am wearing this T-shirt and I'm the only American in the class." With an effort, I adjusted my gaze upward to his white T-shirt. It was brand new. Prominent on his breast was an image of the flag and below that:
FREEDOM 2005 TRADITION
Waking up now, I reflected that if the Old Navy company could so shamelessly trade on the image of the flag, it ought in decency at least amend the line below to:
FREEDOM 2005 COMMERCE
But then I thought, what could be more traditional in America than commercializing the flag?
"Waddayamean, you're the only American in class, what's that got to do with the Fourth of July?" My paternal antennae were also coming to life. I remembered that the kids had sometimes returned from Gymnasium, German high school, and recited seemingly off-hand remarks from professors disparaging America and especially George Bush. Some of the hearsay reports had been pretty rough, describing America as killing Iraqis or causing global warming and the like.
"I think he will call on me to explain the Declaration of Indepencence to the whole class," masking his apprehension. "So, what will you tell them?"
"That is how we got free of England," he replied, in German. "That's right, as far as it goes. Never mind breakfast, lets get to the computer, it time to search FreeRepublic." A few minutes later we had a copy of the declaration printed out, with the font changed to italics for psuedo verisimilitude to the venerable document.
"There are actually a couple of ideas in here that are more important than announcing our break with England," I said, highlighting with a yellow marker this passage:
that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights
And this passage too:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
"This means that who you are, what rights you have, come directly from God and not from the government. In fact, the government is there to serve you, as a child of God, not the other way around, and when the government takes away your rights, the government is not legitimate, and you can change it."
"What's legitimate?" Ah, " berechtigt," I answered. I must have gotten it right for he seemed satisfied with the translation and his Deutsch is better than mine. Handing him the printout, I said, "take this with you, read it on the bus, and when you get to class you tell them these ideas are America's gift to the world. A lot of people in Europe think your rights come from the government, not the other way around. No one had ever done this 'for real' before. Look what it says here just before where they signed it, it means they knew they were risking their lives:"
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor
"OK, dad, see ya."
An hour later, his mother asked me, "Did you give him a printout of the Declaration of Independence?" "Yup," I proudly responded.
She laughed, "He said, 'Dad really expects me to read this on the schoolbus'"
For us, living as we do here in Germany, it is our way of holding fast to our America. Every year we keep the tradition and then await the reactions of FReepers which have been consistently gratifying and even heartwarming.
So the tradition goes on into its seventh year even as the imperative to return to and cling to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution becomes more urgent as our country founders in the midst of a terrible "fundamental transformation" imposed upon us, partly by stealth, by a marxist President who despises the nation created by the very Declaration of Independence we revere today.
"Transformed" by domestic forces within, we are buffeted by a multigenerational jihad against the principles which founded America. Our representative democracy is made more vulnerable, as any government of the people would be, by a financial crisis itself made worse, perhaps deliberately, by our own leaders bent on transforming America away from the only values which can save her. Even our judiciary rather than acting as the Protector of the Constitution seems to have turned its face from us.
The 10 year old boy in the anecdote exchanged his Tee shirt for a tie and a real suit four years ago and we all went proudly off to his high school graduation, his Abschluss from Gymnasium. Our parental expectations had been, to paraphrase John Kennedy, to send him into the world and onto college equipped with the best of both worlds, a German education and an American birthright, bequeathed to him by the founders in the Declaration of Independence.
He has a piece of paper, written out in German, certifying his accomplishment of the course of study laid out in an elite German high school. There is a piece of parchment reposing in the Library of Congress drafted by Thomas Jefferson but written in blood at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Chosen Reservoir, Tet, the Persian Gulf, and Afghanistan.
Both belong to him.... If he can keep them.
Happy Independence Day to all from all of us in Germany!
Special read this morning. Thanks!
I lived in Germany for 6 years, two tours of duty. It was wonderful when Germany was Germany, especially when the wall came down that heroic night. We were there for that and will never forget it. Just don’t let your son lose his Americanism.
Excellent -— your “tradition” enriches us all!
Some believe that government comes from allah through moehammed, and that sharia should be the whole of the law.
They should be identified and excluded from our society.
The Hessians found out.
That’s a good read, thanks for posting it NBF.
Spent some time there in the early 70s, wonderful people. But I had a sense of foreboding when ever I was around the guest workers from Turkey, they just didn’t seem to be making an effort to assimilate and showed no intention of going home. I thought that program was a mistake.
Alles Gute zum Unabhängigkeitstag, auch von Euren Landsleuten im benachbarten Schwabenland! Wir werden ein paar Feuerwerkskörper anzünden, sobald es dunkel wird.
And the very best Independence Day to you as well! When I think of the German connection to the War of Independence I tip a cold one to General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who taught the Americans that their bayonets were for something more than cooking chickens. We owe that guy a lot.
Great read. Thanks, and thanks for your support of Trump, however tepid. I also have reservations, but truly feel these times call for drastic rather than PC measures. Soldier on, and pray for our country.
Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!
Your July 4th posts enrich the celebration for me. Happy Independence Day.
Great post and thanks for sharing your story. Happy Independence Day!
Happy 4th, btw.
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