The other day I watched a documentary about Redstone and its mining history (among other things). I’m not going to name the movie, though if you’re genuinely interested in seeing it, shoot me and email and I’ll tell you privately. I’m breaking down my observations into three or four posts. This is the second, the first is here. You (obviously) don’t need to have seen the film to understand what I’m talking about.

One other interesting thing about it was the evolution of Redstone’s patriotism. Redstone is one of the most flag-waiving, patriotic places I have ever seen out of the south. And when the rubber hits the road, Redstonians, and Arapahoans more generally, enter the military in pretty large numbers. I figured it had to do with the Irish heritage and career opportunities, but there was another aspect to it that I hadn’t considered.

Namely, Redstone had its patriotism beaten into it. The miners opposed World War I vociferously. This opposition did not serve them there. They went on strike and the Washington sent some folks over and forced them to continue working at gunpoint. Their popular image was sunk by their inability to get on board with the war. So, when World War II rolled around, they got ahead of that. They accepted the wage freezes with magnanimity, held parades, and pressured those who weren’t working or essential to join up. The patriotic and military culture has been with the town ever since.

Category: Statehouse, Theater

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