We’ve been delighted to see that all kinds of people today seem to like the story of the American Revolution.
We’ve met so many in our travels so far. Liberals and conservatives. Whites, African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and even Native Americans. Native born, immigrants and international tourists (especially international tourists). People who live in cities, suburbs and rural areas from California to Maine.
Most have told us how inspired they are by the story of the Revolution. Some have also had questions about difficult issues such as race and sexual equality. But all have been inspired to reach out to strangers — us — because of the story of 1776 that we wear on our bodies.
The Revolution Belongs to Everybody
That’s how we’ve discovered that the Revolution is not just a story for white men or for members of the SAR and DAR. It’s a story for all Americans.
Unlike the Civil War, a story of Americans coming apart, the Revolution has always been about Americans from North and South and from many backgrounds coming together.
The history is more inclusive than you may have been taught. White men like Washington, Jefferson and Adams were key. But they were not enough to win a couple million backwoods colonists freedom from Great Britain, the era’s leading world power.
You’ve heard about Betsy Ross and her flag, or Molly Pitcher at the cannon. But do you know about revolutionary women like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren or the many Daughters of Liberty who led the battle on the home front? And African-American heroes including James Armistead Lafayette and William Lee played a big role in George Washington’s greatest victories. The same goes for Native Americans and people of different religions, whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim.
Why We Need The Story of 1776 Today
What does the story of America’s founding mean to us today?
It’s still a story for everybody, whether your ancestors were here in 1776 or your family just arrived in the country last month.
It’s all our story because it’s a story of people standing up for their right to determine their own fate whatever their ancestry. It’s a story of different kinds of people making common cause to fight for freedom and equality. And it’s a classic underdog story where right prevails over might.
We think there’s too much political polarization in America today. Division among our citizens and our leaders is keeping us from addressing the biggest threats our country faces today and for centuries to come.
To bring American back together, we appeal to our inspiring and challenging common past and the shared values born of our glorious but unfinished revolution of 1776.
The Revolution was a good start. It gave us the ideas of freedom and equality that we’ve used ever since to judge the reality of America against its awesome potential.
We want to remember and celebrate our nation’s heroic beginnings as a way to inspire people today to keep making things better, even against great odds.
Especially against great odds. That’s what Americans have always been great at doing.