Remembering the 4th through cinema

The Fourth of July is nearly upon us and what better way to put things into perspective than watch Hollywood interpretations on the big, or in this case, small screen.

Recently I’ve been watching a show titled “Turn: Washington’s Spies” on AMC about early espionage during the Revolutionary War. While I’m not a history buff, I do enjoy historical fiction, great acting and intricate wardrobe design used for period pieces. In my opinion, “Turn” has all of these.

The story of espionage is one I find thrilling, especially when it comes to the brilliance of the inventions for the time set between 1775-1783. Being a fan of the “Bourne Series” as well as James Bond films, I can appreciate the simplicity, yet extreme complexity with which the early patriots launched their missions. Items such as invisible ink, wooden barrel submarines and secret messages written on hard-boiled eggs are all simple yet brilliant.

While the show is set over 200 years ago, it’s important to realize the youth of our country and the overwhelming odds we faced when going in to battle against the nations of the world. The tyrannous England, who has since become one of our greatest allies, was a serious force to be reckoned with and nearly stamped out this great nation shortly after its declaration.

Looking back at how far we’ve come as a nation since our founding in 1776, it’s hard to believe that our country will just now celebrate its 239th birthday. Through innovation, industry, democracy and a Constitution that guarantees everyone inalienable rights, our nation has overcome adversity both foreign and domestic.

While it’s true, we may not all agree on the path our nation should take, the democratic process, freedom of the press and First Amendment guarantees that we’ll always be able to have discussions about it. George Orwell, best known for writing “Animal Farm” and “1984,” once stated: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” It is often the case that, while the citizens of this great nation may not agree on topics, each of us has a right to express them.

As we celebrate our great nation’s birth with fireworks, cookouts and all things American, remember to give thanks for the freedoms for which so many fought. The brave men and women who sacrificed security under the Loyalist party to fight for their belief in America as an independent nation, free from the crown, as part of the Patriots.

Other movies I recommend watching through the holiday weekend are “The Patriot,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and of course, “Captain America.”

Enjoy the fireworks and drive responsibly.

Karen Holbrook is a staff reporter for The Tribune. She can be reached at, 336-258-4059 or on Twitter @KHolbrook00.

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