A Valentine History

When I picked up The Girl and Boy Genius from school on Friday, they were both hyped up on sugar from candy and other treats at their respective class Valentine parties. So, their mouths were running faster than their average speed of a mile a minute….
Boy Genius, who I am convinced has the memory of an elephant, was learning us on Valentine the man. He explained how Valentine was a real person, named “Valentine” of course, who was “put in jail by the king” because he was “trying to help people go against” the king’s orders that all “young men” be “not married and in the army.” The Girl inserted that this all happened a really, really long time ago, to which Boy Genius added, emphatically, that it didn’t even happen in the “United States” but rather “in a different land.” The Girl, no doubt reeling from the possibility of being one-upped by her little brother, said rather nonchalantly, “Well, I know that [Boy Genius]. It wouldn’t happen here because we’re civilized.” As I laughed, somewhat uncontrollably, she attempted to explain that since we don’t have kings here in America, something like what happened to Valentine could never happen here.
It’s odd though because just yesterday she asked me whether any of our family members had ever been in a war. When I asked why she was so interested, she explained that they’d been talking about the Civil War in class and, let me tell you, she was quite disappointed to learn that she was born in a state once a part of the Confederacy… yet today in her mind we are too “civilized” to ever imprison of man for simply trying to spread some love. Hmmm…apparently, second grade hasn’t yet begun to scratch the surface of American history… I have a feeling the rides home are about to get very interesting.
[DISCLAIMER: Neither the author nor any other entity affiliated with, featured on or otherwise connected to this site, guarantees the veracity of any of the historical “facts” set forth herein. This post may or may not include certain “facts” which have been “altered” to better portray, at the discretion of the editor, the intent and affect of the historical event rather than merely providing a true and accurate account of said event.]

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