Monday, July 04, 2011

American Rhetoric: Movie Speech "Independence Day" (1996)

In thinking about Independence Day, with all its various implications, I happened to think about the speech that President Whitmore gave to the troops in the movie Independence Day right before they launched the attack against the alien ships.  The whole thing got to me, and I still get chills when I think about it, but in particular the first section that I've underlined below.

It's become pretty obvious to me that over the past year, all around the world, people from so many countries have been declaring their Independence from tyranny, oppression, persecution and annihilation.  They have cried out for their freedom, and in a lot of cases, they've won it.  I just wish it didn't have to come at the cost of human lives or damage to our planet. 

I declare my Independence today, to do what is right for my planet and my fellow human beings, to fight for the freedom of all mankind to live and worship according to their beliefs, safely, without harm to others. 

Think about it, won't you?

 

 

The President

Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in this history of mankind.

Mankind -- that word should have new meaning for all of us today.

We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore.

We will be united in our common interests.

 

Perhaps its fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution -- but from annihilation.

We're fighting for our right to live, to exist.

And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice:

"We will not go quietly into the night!

We will not vanish without a fight!

We're going to live on!

We're going to survive!"

Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!

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