A few days ago, June 28, Hollywood released a pro-freedom motion
picture titled “The Patriot.” Before hitting the screens in America,
the new film was being lambasted by the British press as being
historically challenged. “The Patriot” pictures America’s fight for
Independence and stars the man many say is the best actor in the
business, Mel Gibson. Gibson, you will recall, played the part of the
great Scottish freedom fighter, William Wallace, in “Braveheart.”
Gibson’s character is named Benjamin Martin and is created to recount
the exploits of the real live American patriot, Francis Marion,
otherwise known as “The Swamp Fox.” Marion was commissioned a captain in
the Revolutionary Army and was later promoted to major, lieutenant
colonel and finally brigadier general. He gained his early military
experience fighting against the Cherokee Indians. His heroism and
military mastery were known throughout the colonies. He seemed
especially adept at commanding militia units in guerilla attacks against
the enemy and escaping through swamps and forests. He is credited with
making a daring rescue of American troops surrounded by British forces
at Parkers Ferry, S.C. After the war, Marion served three terms as a
member of the South Carolina Senate.
As to the charges that the film is historically inaccurate, it must
be remembered that the film’s producers used the prestigious Smithsonian
Institute to assist in providing authenticity and historical accuracy.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, “Indeed, director Roland Emmerich and
his production company, Centropolis Entertainment, have gone to great
lengths to create authenticity in the film, enlisting the help of
experts at the Smithsonian to advise on uniforms, weapons, battle
formations and more.”
The part that has liberals gnashing their teeth is when Gibson’s
character instructs his young teen-age sons to pick up their muskets and
personally engage the enemy. The result is a bloody battle scene that
leaves British troops dead and dying.
How politically incorrect can you get? Children picking up guns to
defend their family and freedom? Gasp! This could set liberalism back 20
years. Quick! Call Rosie O’Donnell and Charlie Schumer. This can’t
The truth is many thousands of young people fought valiantly in
America’s War for Independence. America’s first Secretary of the
Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, was barely 17 when he joined the
revolution. By age 19, he was commissioned a captain in the provincial
artillery. He went on to achieve the rank of lieutenant colonel and was
one of George Washington’s most trusted aides. Hamilton was not the only
boy-soldier in the Revolutionary War.
In Colonial America, by the time a boy could talk he could shoot.
Beyond that, boys were taught the fundamental lessons of liberty and
independence. They learned at a young age how to fight, and more
importantly, when to fight. On the American frontier, a 14-year-old boy
with a flintlock rifle had both the physical and mental attributes to be
a fearsome foe, as the British quickly discovered.
Freedom and independence are worth fighting for! They are worth dying
for! The ingredients necessary to resist the tyrant’s chains are as
germane to our nation today as they were in 1776: faith in God,
familiarity with a reliable gun and fearless guts! And if you wait for a
boy to become a man to teach him those things, it will be too late. It’s
sad to realize that this one Hollywood motion picture will probably do
more to teach this vital truth to America’s youth than all of our public
schools put together!