Thursday, June 30, 2016

Patriotic Movies

This is a list of movies that would be great to watch on Independence Day or leading up to the 4th of July. Criterion for these movies are that they are positive, inspiring, USA patriotic movies. Does not have to be military. Should not be critical of USA. And should not be preaching an agenda other than USA patriotism. 

This should be a constantly growing list as I discover new movies that fit. 

I will be ranking these movies based on my personal tastes.  (I may explain rankings, or I may not.)

Movies:

  1. Mr. Smith goes to Washington
  2. Yankee Doodle Dandy
  3. The Alamo
  4. Sands of Iwo Jima or [almost any John Wayne movie featuring military service]
  5. Patton
  6. Casa Blanca
  7. The Patriot
  8. Sargent York
  9. Apollo 13
  10. Miracle
  11. National Treasure

Doing research on this list I found a lot of movies. Many many movies that I liked. But I’m feeling pretty good about this paired down list.

There were a bunch of movies that I liked but didn’t make this list because they were more action movie, and not more patriotic movie. The popular movie Independence Day seems like a good candidate for an Independence Day movie list. Hollywood agrees as they are releasing a sequel for, you guessed it, Independence Day.  But it’s not really an patriotic movie. There is a quality of pro USA that is missing from the movie. I like it, but it doesn’t make this list.

There are also a bunch of movies that I liked but didn’t make the list because they can’t be watched by a broad audience. Many people like Saving Private Ryan, but its rated R and has some really graphic scenes. So as part of a patriotic movie list needs to be the ability to watch them with your children. So rated R movies are out, and many PG13 movies will be out for graphical content.

There are also a bunch of movies that I liked but didn’t make the list because they had a preachy or political message that I don’t share or don’t want to mix with my patriotism movie list. I like The American President, but the undercurrent of politics that are the backdrop for this movie taints the patriotic quality. Not to the point where I don’t enjoy the movie, but to the point I won’t include it in the list. That is just an example, and there are a bunch of movies that would have contended for this list if not for that one thing.

Some friends suggested movies that I don’t know why they thought they were patriotic. To be clear, there is a common, pro USA quality that needs to be present for an Independence Day movie list. This is not a list of fun movies to binge watch on a day off of work, or a list of movies that cause us to feel anger or guilt over slavery, treatment of native americans, Japanese internment or some other introspective message. 

So if you are ready to set down with your family and watch a movie that will make you feel proud to be an American and put you in the mood for fireworks and hotdogs, this is the list of movies that I would recommend. This is that list. There should be something here for everyone, or if you are like me, they are all for you. 



Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Tiny Hand to Hold

I have climbed the mountain
And I have touched the sky,
I have nurtured children
And taught them how to fly.

There is something special
in a child’s embrace
To hold their tiny hands
and gaze into their face.

I have walked on beaches
And watched the sunset dim,
I have nurtured children
And taught them how to swim.

There is something special
in a child’s voice
To hold their tiny hands
and help them make a choice.

I have climbed in branches
And scaled the tallest tree,
I have nurtured children
And helped them to be free.

There is something special 
 in a child’s love
To hold their tiny hands
and teach of God above. 

By Roy Hayward


I started writing this poem yesterday as I sat in the Provo City Center Temple waiting to be sealed to my two newly adopted children. I didn't actually write anything as I wasn't somewhere that I could write and didn't have anything with me to write with.  So I played with the words in my head. 

Most of the time when this happens, I get to the place where I can write, and the words don't work on the page the way they did in my head, or I am missing part of the mood that inspired me. It takes a lot of work to try and write the poem then.  

But this time, I wrote the first line, and the rest of the poem started to fall into place. I guess I'm still riding pretty high on the joy of being in the temple. I don't know how long this feeling will last, but my wife and I are very happy. Our kids seem pretty happy. And I think I'm gonna have a stupid, sappy grin on my face for a while.