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Wednesday Wisdom: 1776 Patriotic Pride Still Alive Today

June 30, 2021

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs & Female Business Owners

When I think of the upcoming 4th of July holiday, my memory drifts back to my childhood, long before I became a woman entrepreneur, sitting in Johnstown, New York, on the orange carpet in my paternal grandparent’s living room watching, what seemed like, millions of bursts of colors and sounds protruding from their television set. It was the year 1976 which marked the United States Bicentennial with grand celebrations and observances paying tribute to events leading up to the creation of the United States of America as an independent republic.

Back in my hometown of Rome, New York, I grew up very aware of the date 1776 since Fort Stanwix was built there in 1758 by British forces and rebuilt in 1776 by American forces. It was part of every history class I ever took. The fort was built to protect a six-mile-long trail, the Oneida Carrying Place, between the Mohawk River and Wood Creek. The house I grew up in dated back to 1782 with old fireplaces, square nails, hidden rooms, and the smell of history. Being in sixth grade in 1976, our school conducted historic plays and musical performances marking the celebration.

Back on the fireplace mantel of my paternal grandparent’s house was a framed image of my great grandfather Charles Chamberlain and his seven sons, all but two who served in the navy at the same time in the 1940s. My great grandfather was crowned “Working Father of the Year” in the mid-1940s. Unfortunately, there weren’t any women in the family in active duty, just men, and I imagine my great grandmother praying all the time for the safe return of her five sons. Although I didn’t know her, I imagine I have some of her fighting spirit and faith in my DNA.

In fact, when I ask my 87-year-old aunt about the patriotic or feminist achievements of the women on the Chamberlain side of the family, she tells me there aren’t any stories. When I think about my maternal side of my family, my grandfather was born in Italy, came to America at age 8, and eventually served in World War II for America fighting against Italians. My grandmother never made it to high school as the women supported the family while the men were at war. Alas, my patriotic spirit didn’t come from women, but men.

Sometimes I imagine my feminist action and words make me a solider of sorts in the fight of equality since the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” and he doesn’t mention “women” in the document. Women then, as they are today, still aren’t equal to men in pay and other areas, thus an ongoing war of sorts still exists.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to inspire you to think about the men, and hopefully women, in your family who fought back in 1776 up to today for our many freedoms. Who are they? Do you know enough about them? Are you like any of them? Do you wish you could be? Please think of them all this weekend and share any female names with me.

I don’t ever want to fight in a real, physical war, but I will continue fighting this 4th of July and all the next ones, for women’s rights to equality in all things we hold dear. I hope someday mine, and your, granddaughters or grandsons know what our generation did to “fight” for our own passions, injustices, and freedoms even if it wasn’t in active duty.

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