Today’s guest post comes from @maxplaysmusic. Max was born in Brooklyn, moved, grew up, went to college, resides in and celebrates all the crazy that is South Florida where he teaches Government at the High School level trying his best not to become “Florida Man.” You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the tweet machine @maxplaysmusic .
Seeing as how the Governor of the Great State of Mississippi has declared Confederate History Month for the Month of April, and with the falling of major pop cultural vestiges of their failed Confederacy (the damn flag, both on a car and on a pole), we’re going to have to replace a good number of state holidays here in the Southeastern part of These United States. For that purpose I rise before you and ask you to join me in celebrating our “Perpetual Union” during the first ever Federal Holiday Season, starting April 9th and ending on Memorial Day.
The Union is strong, and we’re going to take a hell of a road trip to see and experience all that makes our Union great. But before we can do that, we need to celebrate the very fact that the Union is still around to begin with! On April 9th we start by celebrating the total and unconditional surrender of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, the day the Union was finally saved, and as such should be celebrated as Union Day.
Take the day and celebrate what can happen when we as Americans, White, Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Gay, Straight, whatever come together and live up to our motto, E Pluribus Unum. We put a man on the moon, built a railroad across the continent; anything where citizens from their respective states came together and made America great by putting aside their differences, joining under the flag of the Federal Republic, and working towards, “A More Perfect Union.”
And now get ready for the opening of the Grand Tour of the Union: all Forty Six States, Four Commonwealths, and One Federal District for each day of The Federal Holiday Season will give each and every part of our Union a chance to show what makes them vital to the American Experiment. What do they do that no one else can?
Fire up your RV’s starting on April 10th, the Grand Tour of the Union starts in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In Richmond, starting also on the 10th will be the “Feds Always Get Their Man” Bike Race tracing the 662 miles from Richmond, Virginia to Fitzgerald, GA that Southern Government officials took as they fled from Federal Troops. As this race is taking place it will pass through North and South Carolina, both getting their days to show off on the 11th and 12th of April. The Race ends in Georgia on its State day of the 13th.
The 14th we’re going to need NASA to set off some fireworks as Florida gets another day in the sun. Moving through the south, the Grand Tour of the Republic moves people through small southern towns, each seemingly out of paintings and descriptions of the “Old South.” Towns , cities, and counties would be encouraged to throw a parade or two; let yourself brag for a day, America. Have yourself a cookout, and why yes, out of state visitors get a discount at the local hotel. The tour makes its way regionally around the country, making sure it’s possible to achieve the dream of seeing all fifty for the Average American.
After the Great State of Florida on the 14th we move on with Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, with Kentucky taking us to the good round number of the 20th. Starting our move out west on the 21st we hit Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and by the 30th we’ve gone coast to coast, sea to shining sea before the end of the month. Looking out over the Pacific we take pause to think of the struggle of what it took early Americans to make their way out there.
Quickly we move on and hop on over half the damn thing. From a place that makes its cash selling the promise of false paradises on silver screens to a real one! The Start of May sees us take in a traditional Luau on the shores of the Hawaiian Islands before making sure we packed a coat and ship up to Alaska for a cold second on the 2d of May.
Getting ourselves back down to the lower 48 in Washington, then Oregon and Idaho round out the Pacific Northwest. Moving along the Rocky Mountains, we will cross the continental divide for the last time as we trudge along to Montana. The open ranges of the High West makes you feel almost as small as an ant as you look around the skybox of Wyoming. After the mountains and plains of the High West it’s time for, in my opinion, the flattest, straightest drive I’ve ever done as we move from Wyoming across Nebraska. The change from high plains and desert before your eyes into the breadbasket of these United States is something to behold. From there it’s back up in altitude for a second as we move from South to North with the Dakotas.
From there we see our last bit of truly stereotypical American high plains and desert and give way to the Midwest. Starting in the Land of a Thousand Lakes, the State of Minnesota will be our gateway to the mythical middle of America. Barnstorming around the region we find the wholesome state of Iowa followed by Wisconsin, before starting the “War for who can get to put Lincoln on their State Welcome Signs” with Illinois separated from Indiana by Michigan. Indiana also gets the absolute fun of trying to keep Michigan and Ohio from getting at each other’s throats again.
At the border of Ohio and West Virginia, we move out of anything that could be remotely called the west. The mountains of West Virginia are where we can celebrate the origins of the term “Redneck,” coal miners fighting for solidarity and union.
Happier times are upon us as we enter Pennsylvania on the 20th of May, the Grand Tour of the Republic going from a state created to preserve the Union to one where it might have been saved. By the way, when in southern Pennsylvania on your way to the next state, stay at one of the great hotels that uses old Pennsylvania Railroad and Penn Central Cabooses converted into rooms. You had better get that rest too, as we start to make our way up and around the Adirondacks and into our next state, New York.
As we enter the Empire State, we start our tour of the Northeast making our way up the Hudson River valley and over the Adirondacks to find Freedom and Unity on the 22nd in Vermont. On the 23rd we’ll all live free or die, just make sure to drive courteously: it’s the New Hampshire way. After a bit of motoring we’ll make a stop in Maine for lobster… that is all.
Maine gives way to Massachusetts; they might have started the fire of revolution and they sure as hell poured every ounce of gas they could find on it. After the, I feel, obligatory Dropkicks Murphys concert it’s off to the smallest state with the largest name: The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. After walking the width of the state we move on to our last set of former colonies.
Connecticut comes up first as we work our way down the Atlantic seaboard, passing through NYC we get to the land of Toll Booths and whiners…New Jersey! We’ll get our Caesar Rodney in the first state, Delaware, followed by a day trip to the Maryland shore.
Ending our Grand Tour of the Republic on Memorial Day, we end up in the Federal District itself: born of compromise, burned in a fire, and rebuilt just like the Republic that gathers to join together in celebrating the shared sacrifices to makes this Union strong.
As we started we will end, remembering the sacrifices we’ve made in preservation of the Union and the ideals she stands for. Starting this April 9th thorough Memorial Day I ask you in joining me in not celebrating a group of traitors who were examples of everything we stand against in our founding documents, as the Governor of Mississippi would want us to do. Instead, let us celebrate everything that makes us great as a country; E Pluribus Unum! The Union Forever!
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