Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July
“Tomorrow will be better for as long as
America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life,”
Walt Disney

            Happy Birthday America! No matter if you celebrate America’s Birthday at home, local community event or at Disneyland or Walt Disney World I hope you have a glorious day.
            Walt Disney was proud to be an American. If you look at many of the cartoons, live-action movies and comments he made you can see he loved America.
            In 1916 Walt Disney wanted to join the young American men headed to Europe to fight the Great War (World War I). He was too young to join and was proud of his brother who went to serve. In 1917 he forged his passport application to change his birth date from 1901 to 1900. By doing this he was allowed to join the Red Cross and go to Europe to help as an ambulance driver. By the time he got there the war had ended. He spent 11 months there helping the injured and recovery. He said that his 11 months there gave him a lifetime of experience.
            During World War II the Disney Studio was taken over by the US Government, as many companies were and many of his staff either went to serve in the war or were put to work creating propaganda, educational and training shorts. Disney cartoons encouraged the people at home to support the troops overseas, taught them how to avoid disease, and taught those serving many valuable tools they needed to survive the war. This take over and the loss of the overseas movie market almost bankrupt the Disney Studio.
Walt Disney love to read in one of the books he read during WWII was Victory through Air Power. It was a book describing how America could turn the tide of World War II and when it through air power. Disney used his own personal finances to create a documentary. He did at night so the war of the engines flying over Burbank and his studio would not disturb the filming. This movie caught the attention of Winston Churchill who then made sure that Pres. Roosevelt saw the movie. After seeing the movie Pres. Roosevelt signed an order for more long-range bombers and the tide of the war changed.
            What was it that made Walt Disney so proud of America? I believe it was what he saw from our founding fathers up until around the 1950s. Americans had a can-do spirit. Americans looked for the good in everything. Americans generally thought tomorrow could and would be better. America was a land of opportunities where anything could happen if you just worked hard enough. Walt Disney once said, “America’s best export is laughter.” I believe that says it all were how can you have a can-do spirit, see the good even in the bad, believe that tomorrow can be better and have a land of opportunity without laughter and joy.
I am proud to be an American! America has long been called the Melting Pot the World! I disagree, it is not a Melting Pot America is a Stew Pot. In the Melting Pot everything becomes homogeneous, indistinguishable from anything else in the pot. But it has Stew Pot each ingredient retains it’s individuality.
In a stew a piece of English Beef never becomes a Near East Pea or a Carrot, Irish Potato or spices from China and Africa. Instead they take on the flavor of each other and therefore their flavor is improved. Separately they are good together they are great.
That is how it is with the American culture. We have American Citizens of every ethnic group. Together we make the unique culture that is a mix of all. How can that happen? It takes mutual respect! Sometimes people groups clash and problems arise but we are still all Americans. No matter what color skin, our ancestors birthplace or whether we are first generation Americans or our families have been here for generations we are all Americans first and foremost. If we remember that fact we can be better tomorrow.
When I met my husband he was not a great supporter of America. Having grown up in the 1960s in the liberal Southern California with a lot of anti-American sentiment around him it was natural to distrust and dislike America. But after some years of exposure to my positive American pride and Walt Disney’s small town America attitude and faith and attitude his attitude has changed.
            I agree with what Walt Disney said:
“Actually, if you could see close in my eyes,
the American flags waving both of them
and up my spine is growing a red, white, and blue stripe.”

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