Ten Tribes Tribal Report no.25

13 July 21 Tammuz 5769
1. Musical Clips USA and Ireland
2. America's spirit of freedom was born in
Arbroath (Scotland) in 1320
3. Scotland: Pub blaze fireman 'died to save lives of others'


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1. Musical Clips USA and Ireland
Lee Greenwood - God Bless The USA
Brooks & Dunn - Only In America

O Danny Boy- Celtic Women

Danny Boy Ireland Michael Londra

2. America's spirit of freedom was born in Arbroath (Scotland) in 1320

Tracy McVeigh, chief reporter
The Observer, Sunday 5 July 2009

It's well known to every schoolchild, and drummed in to every tourist, that the Scots invented everything worth having, from the tea-towel to television. There's a roll-call of scientists, doctors, writers and engineers who changed the world to an extent out of kilter with Scotland's population. But a book by an American historian, published this weekend, has made the startling claim that Scotland also invented democracy and the American dream.

Linda MacDonald-Lewis hopes that Warriors and Wordsmiths of Freedom: The Birth and Growth of Democracy will bring an understanding on both sides of the Atlantic of the true debt Americans owe to the Scots.

The daughter of a Scot who divides her time between America and Scotland, MacDonald-Lewis believes the Declaration of Independence, the charter that laid out the early principles of democracy in the United States, was not based on a model from the ancient Greeks or the Magna Carta as is widely believed, but was in fact based on the 14th-century Declaration of Arbroath.

"It's time to highlight these links much more widely and in language people can understand," she said. "If Americans want to understand their history, they need to look to Scotland, because that is where their ideals come from. And Scots should look across the Atlantic to see where their homegrown doctrines and ideas have been most fully embraced."

Presented to the pope in 1320 to confirm Scotland's status under Robert the Bruce as a state with an ancient constitution, and to reject any English claim of sovereignty, the declaration drawn up at Arbroath Abbey formalised the idea of equality for all. The Declaration of Independence of 1776 was written to reject the British rule.

MacDonald-Lewis believes the similarities between the cries of freedom in both documents are a deliberate move by America's founding fathers - half of those who signed the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish ancestry. Robert the Bruce, meanwhile, was the first ruler in Europe to be brought to power by a system recognisable as modern democracy, by "due consent and assent of us all".

Speaking from Oregon, she told the Observer she believed Americans should have been toasting Scotland at their 4 July celebrations yesterday.

"A lot of Scots who had to leave Scotland after the failed Jacobite rebellion ended up dying on American battlefields, fighting the same enemy on a different field.

"The research I have done tracing these stories has really joined up a lot of dots in the intertwining histories of these two great nations. I found out only recently that George Washington treasured a snuff box that he had been given made from a piece of wood cut from the tree where William Wallace hid from the English at Falkirk.

Academics have previously linked America's founding fathers to the Scottish enlightenment that was ongoing during the drafting of the US charter. Gordon Brown's favourite historian, US academic Gertrude Himmelfarb, had written that Thomas Jefferson and other key figures studied the enlightenment's leaders, such as Francis Hutcheson and David Hume, who were making a worldwide impact at a time when, as Voltaire, the French defender of civil liberties, said: "We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation."

Spot the difference

"As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom - for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself."
Declaration of Arbroath, 6 April 1320

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776

3. Scotland: Pub blaze fireman 'died to save lives of others'

Pub blaze fireman 'died to save lives of others'
MORE than 20 people rescued from a tenement building as a major blaze ripped through a pub owe their lives to the bravery of a firefighter who died at the scene, a fire chief said last night.
Ewan Williamson, 35, was killed when a floor in the Balmoral bar in Edinburgh collapsed yesterday. The residents, including a baby, were rescued from the three-storey tenement above the pub in the city's Dalry Road.

Brian Allaway, chief fire officer with Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, said his force had been left "absolutely devastated".

He added: "The people who were rescued would not have been rescued if he had not been there."

Mr Williamson, from Edinburgh, is survived by his mother, two sisters, and his girlfriend.

In a statement last night, the family said: "This has come as a horrific shock to the family. Ewan was a wonderful, kind, sporty and outgoing person who was loved by everyone. He loved the fire service. We would ask that the public remember members of the service who risk their lives every day."

Mr Allaway said: "Our service is a very close-knit community and we are all absolutely devastated by this loss. The thoughts of every single member of this service are with the firefighter's family. This is a tragic day for us."

He added that morale among crews on the scene was "pretty low" but added: "The firefighters are behaving professionally." He also said counselling would be available. "We will give our firefighters every support they need."

Another firefighter who was injured and taken to hospital was allowed home last night. Fire crews were called shortly after midnight yesterday and about 70 firefighters and 16 fire engines rushed to the scene.

"A couple of paramedics pulled a firefighter out the window. He had breathing apparatus on but there was no attempt to revive him and they covered his face with a blanket.

"You understand the risk that they take but it is quite shocking to see a firefighter pulled out dead like that."

As the fire continued to smoulder yesterday, 12 hours after it started, and with around 14 fire engines and 30 firefighters in attendance, residents spoke of being woken by the smell of smoke.

Mary O'Neill, 67, who lives in Dalry Road, said: "It's an absolute shame that someone with such a noble job loses his life like that. My heart goes out to the poor man's family.

"I woke up in the middle of the night with the smoke but thought it was teenagers mucking around. Then a neighbour told me it was a fire.

"I put on my dressing gown and went as fast as I could to Downfield Place where my niece and her husband live to make sure they were safe and bring them to my flat."

The cause of the blaze is not yet known, but deputy chief fire officer Alex Clark, who was the incident commander, said it appeared to have started in the basement of the bar, which was closing at around that time.

Mr Clark said: "Investigations will be going on to fully ascertain how the fire started."

A spokesman for the fire service last night said the fire had been extinguished and that over the next few days investigators would try to establish how it started. Both the fire service and police are involved in the investigation, along with the Health and Safety Executive.

Tributes to Mr Williamson were posted on the website last night. One, from Caroline Marsden, read:

"My thoughts are with you, your family and colleagues at this sad time. May you now be at peace xxx".

Another, from Sue Heaney, said: "Rest in eternal peace."


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