My Declaration


(See below for video)

As a kid, I loved to watch things burn. No, I wasn’t a pyromaniac. Just a boy. (Is there a difference?) I’d douse my old model planes in lighter fluid and stage air disasters. I’d cheer as the latest latex-suited abomination attacked Tokyo (who knew that not only dinosaurs but also giant moths and turtles could breathe fire?).

sparkler-and-boyBut most of all, I loved fireworks! Even after a match I’d used for a replacement fuse hurled itself up my nose, causing a glorious fiesta of blood on my t-shirt, I still loved firecrackers. I also loved writing my name in the air with sparklers. And those over-priced and underperforming “fountains” the fireworks stands sold in the SoCal suburbs every June. I even loved the poopy little “snakes” with which we permanently scarred our  sidewalks each year.  But most of all I loved the real fireworks that exploded like snowcones of light over Disneyland on summer nights (we could see them from our San_Diego_Fireworkssplit level Orange County ranch house rooftop).

It wasn’t until years later that I made the connection between those “bombs bursting in air” and the terrible sacrifice they stood for each time we in the United States celebrated the 4th of July.

I’ve never been a “my-country-love-it-or-leave-it” type. Nor do I believe native-born Americans are inherently better than anyone else. Heck, it’s the foreigners–immigrants–who regularly replenish our national DNA with their reckless gumption and relentless dreams who best embody the American spirit.

Jefferson-and-AdamsBut I do think something extraordinary happened when those imprudent idealists affixed their names to the Declaration of Independence, and later the U.S. Constitution; and then, on their heels, those backwoodsers in buckskins and townies in wool laid down their lives to make it a reality.

What does this mean to Americans in the 21st century?  And what does it mean for people of faith?

my-declaration-monologue_340_340To answer this question for myself I wrote a short narrative, My Declaration, that has been performed at churches throughout the U.S. If you’d like to read or perform it, click here for the monologue version or here for the group reading (ensemble) version.

Then I put together a short (3 min.) VIDEO of My Declaration. You can watch it right now by clicking on the image below:

My Dec-Thumb1

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, Memoir, Quips and Quotes, Videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to My Declaration

  1. “But I’m a continuer.” Love that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome post and video, Mitch! (I used to burn my model cars after spending countless hours building them).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your creativity continues to inspire me. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful post and wonderful video.

    May I share this video on my Facebook page, or is it not yet “ready for prime time”, as it says “preview only”? When do you think you will have it ready for prime time? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      No problem! “Preview Only” is basically a message to organizations (churches, civic groups, etc.) not project it on a screen without paying to download an authorized copy.


  5. Roos Ruse says:

    What is superior post match. You always make a serious point, humorously but serious.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Roos Ruse says:

    Great video too. I would be proud to buy the right to share it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. dawnlizjones says:

    Brilliant! Fb’s and Tweeted! Thank you for such a great perspective on my personal responsibility as a Christian!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy Fourth of July, Mitch. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m right up there with you, Mitch for the love of fireworks. My hubby and I even took a course to become government certified pyrotechnician apprentices a few years back. Just didn’t have the time to follow through to lose the apprentice title. Love your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I was sitting up a little straighter in my chair by the time I finished watching the video. I’ll add my voice to those (talented) four who participated: I, too declare my intention to be a continuer of this democracy, to the best of my ability, for the betterment of my little corner of America. Thank you, Mitch, for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

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