I celebrated Independence Day in three states this year.
Sunday morning: attended church in San Diego.
Sunday evening: fireworks in Las Vegas.
Monday evening: barbecue and fireworks at parents’ in Utah.
The Sunday morning of my holiday was where I felt the most patriotic. In the ward we attended, there were several families whose dads were away because they were deployed with a branch of the military. Also, my cousin’s husband was there with us. He’s a fighter pilot in the Air Force, living in Korea with his family, but spending much of his time away on tours of duty. We sang patriotic hymns, which I love, and I gave my cousin’s husband a hug at the end of the meeting. (I hugged other family members, too, because we were going our separate ways after, either home to Utah, back to Oklahoma or returning overseas to Korea.)
Eventually, my thoughts went to a play my elementary school put on when I was in 4th grade: Take Your Hat Off When the Flag Goes By!
As a kid, because of that play and because of a debate teacher in 5th grade, I learned a lot about the Constitution and how American politics work. It planted the seed in me and I’ve been a bit too political since then. But back to the play.
We sang a song called “Miracle in Philadelphia.”
We sang another song called “We Hold These Truths.”
In fourth grade, I had part of the Declaration of Independence memorized. How cool is that?
There were other songs about justice, checks and balances, free enterprise, and George Washington. I remember the melodies and part of the words of almost every song. At the very end, every grade in the school came out on stage or in the auditorium to sing, “Take Your Hat Off When the Flag Goes By.”
I feel like I’m lucky to have received this type of education growing up. Was it just me or did other schools really spend time teaching about the founding of this nation? Sometimes I wonder if kids know much about it or not. How did you learn about the Founding Fathers and the Constitution as a kid? Were you in that play with me?