Independence Day

It’s the Fourth of July, the day when the United States celebrates its independence from Britain. When I lived in America as a child, I remember watching a brilliant Fourth of July parade in a town called Cody, Wyoming, home of Buffalo Bill no less.

Nowadays, I can’t hear the words “Independence Day” without thinking of the epic movie, with mankind defeating alien invaders against all the odds. Some of the film is superbly written, including President Bill Pullman’s rousing speech outside Area 51 to his ragtag bunch of fighter pilots, tasked with bringing down an alien mother ship.

“In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join will join with others from around the world and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. ‘Mankind’ … that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore … Perhaps it’s fate tat today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom – not from tyranny, oppression or persecution, but from annihilation. We’re fighting for our right to live – to exist.  And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American hooliday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice:

“We will not go quietly into the night.

“We will not vanish without a fight.

“We’re going to live on.

“We’re going to survive.

“Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!”

Just thinking about that scene brings a tear to my eye, and it’s especially relevant at the moment as I write the third Johnny Mackintosh book, provisionally entitled Johnny Mackintosh: Battle for Earth. And I know that any great rallying speeches had better hit the spot, just in case Hollywood comes calling for the movie rights.

Happy Fourth of July to all my American friends!

~ by keithmansfield on July 4, 2010.

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