Saturday, October 28, 2006

Just Something I Was Thinking About

When I was in the fourth grade, I had to learn this small part of Patrick Henry's speech, made 23 March 1775:
Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
We each had to stand up in front of the entire class and recite it, word for word. Now, believe it or not, I was an extremely shy kid, so having to stand up in front of all those other kids, I thought I was going to die. Obviously, I didn't. A few years ago, I asked my oldest granddaughter if she had learned about Patrick Henry in school, and she said no. I repeated my question last year, again, she said no. Last summer, I took her to Gettysburg, Washington, D.C., Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. Other than Washington, D.C., she hadn't heard of any of the other places, so much a part of our history. Shameful! Completely shameful!