Skip to comments.<B> DAD, WHAT's <I> UNABHANGIKEITSTAG?</I></B><
Posted on 07/04/2008 11:26:03 AM PDT by nathanbedford
DAD, WHAT's UNABHANGIKEITSTAG?
"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 antannae 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 verisimiltude to the venerable document.
"There is 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'"
Happy Independence Day to all!
I enjoyed it! Thanks!
After 6 years you’re still using HTML tags in the title?
Thank you for the story. What happened at school that day?
He may not have read it on the school bus, but I’ll bet he read it.
I will email this to my German son. He may be back in Germany, but he would prefer to be back in the U.S..
Man, how I wish I could go back in time knowing what I know now. I'd give that *&^% a real history lesson.
I love kid/America stories!!
And after 10 years you couldn't think of something nice to say? *sigh*
I can't wait to read the criticism/critique of the posting's content.
Please, do not disappoint us.