Thanks to Wild and Wanderful for hosting the Sew Americana Blog Tour this year! I took a different approach to celebrating/honoring the American spirit. Americana is the celebration of American history and culture. One of the most iconic things to come out the rebellious 1970’s was tie dye. Everything was tie dyed…people lived as “free” spirits and with wild abandon.
What do you think of when I say American culture and history? Maybe it’s the favorite pair of Levi jeans you wore, the smooth taste of Coca-Cola, or the memories of Camelot. There are many different things that Americana can mean to each individual American.
Patrick Henry gave one of the most famous speeches for the pursuit of American Independence. Speaking during the Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775, his speech began:
“Mr. President it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth – and listen to the song of the siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?
If we wish to be free – if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending – if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained – we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight!
The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery!
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!
-Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775
With a resounding tone, Mr. Henry proclaimed “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” He is credited with turning the opinion of the convention’s delegates.
Independence Day was originally a day to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Our independence today is much different from the independence desired in 1776. We stand on the sidelines to history and shoot fireworks, eat barbecue, watch baseball games, and march in parades. Should we take a moment to truly reflect on the meaning of Americana and Independence?
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
-Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America, 1788
As we prepare to celebrate the fourth of July, we, as Americans, need to remember that liberty and freedom are not guaranteed. We must remember that the “land that [we] love” is preserved on the backs of all Americans. We are implored to fight for the things that are most dear to us.
Are you feeling more patriotic? Are you feeling a sense of duty? I hope you are! Our country, our nation, is a place of all of us. For all of us to acknowledge that all men are created equal and we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
For our family Independence Day attire, we tie dyed shirts in remembrance of the 1970’s. Each kid chose how their shirt was dyed. Isn’t it amazing how cool and different each shirt came out? Ha! Just like each of us! We finished off our Sew Americana look by using heat transfer vinyl. The big kid chose a John Deere tractor hauling fireworks; the middle kid chose a mustache loving, sunglass wearing America; the youngest kid chose a red, white, and blue Norfolk Southern train. I chose Patrick Henry’s famous quote “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” with the Liberty Bell as the background. From our family to yours, wishing you a safe and fun Independence Day! Let Freedom Ring!
Want to explore more about our Nation’s history? Check out the links below.
National Mall and Memorial Parks (Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service!)
As a special bonus for our readers, use the code ‘ SEWAMERICANA ‘ and enjoy a 20% discount at www.THREADandGRAIN.com You’ll find a ton of maker-inspired goodies!
(All created by your tour guide, Katy, from Wild & Wanderful.)