On our first weekend on campus we watched two movies, both of which dealt with being governed by bullies, and seeking independence: Braveheart and Michael Collins. Braveheart was about a Celtic Scotsman whose father died when he was a boy. He was taught many things by the uncle who raised him, and when he returned to his village all he wanted was peace and quiet. He fell in love, built a farm, and secretly got married. When the British murdered his wife, he convinced his fellow countryman to go to war. His name was William Wallace. He was born in 1270 and died in 1305 when the British captured him, tortured him, and killed him.
The second movie was about an Irishman who had to fight in the dark shadows of Ireland against British intelligence, which ruled with an “iron fist.” He, and his compatriots, the I.R.A. (Irish Republican Army) fought in guerilla style all over the city. They even went so far as taking the extreme measures of killing their fellow countrymen for cooperating with the British, but in the end they caused so much destruction that the British had no choice but to negotiate with them. The result was that half of Ireland was given its freedom from England, which ultimately resulted in a civil war. The man’s name was Michael Collins.
These two men fought for freedom. One won it with his death, while the other never got to see it. They both wanted freedom, but they went about getting it in different ways. Sure, Collins was able to free half of Ireland, but the result was a civil war. Was the only difference between these two men that one failed and the other succeeded? Maybe it was that Collins allowed himself to become as low as the British when he began murdering his own countrymen. Maybe it was due to the times, or maybe it was that William Wallace sacrificed his own life to rally his countryman to full victory. Perhaps we’ll never know, but however they were different, both men tried their hardest, and for that I respect them.