Last Ounce of Courage (2012) Script

THOMAS: There is a thing right here.

Sit up. Turn around.

[ Laughing ]


She's now 83 years old and still kicking.


Only because he's...

Only because he's my best friend.

That's the only reason. Yeah, whatever.

We just hang out with him 'cause we pity him.

♪ Whoa, whoa, whoa ♪ Terrible!

Well, right now I'm happy, but I'm sure that will change very shortly, you know.

Why? Because you kind of drive me nuts.

[ Laughter ]


How do I look?

I'm a little bit nervous.

Um, but, Kari, I love you, and this is the day I've been waiting for all my life.

[ Applause ]

[ Cheering ]

BOB: You know, I always saw myself as a patriot.

I don't remember anyone telling me that freedom had to be fought for and defended.

I loved my country, and I loved being free, but the day I saw my son packing to leave our country to fight in another, I understood what my father must have felt when I left for war.

There's no greater love in the world than a man laying down his life for someone else.

But a man thinks different when it's his boy going into harm's way.

[ Motorcycle engine turns off ]

Thomas was 20.

He had his whole life ahead of him.

He had a young wife, great friends, and a future.

[ Birds chirping ]

[ Voice breaking ] I'm so proud of you.

If anything happens to me over there, take care of 'em?

You just come back.

[ Whispering inaudibly ]


[ Bus engine revs ]

THOMAS: We made it back to base safe and sound.

Every day I pray that God will see me through so I can get back to you, Kari.

[ Jet engine roars ]

KARI: The doctor says the next few weeks will fly by before the baby is born.

Easy for him to say. [ Scoffs ]

I love you, Thomas.

I miss you so much.

I long to feel you next to me.

THOMAS: Today I remembered the smell of your hair the day I left.

I love you.

God's been watching over me.

181 days and I'll be home, Lord willing.

I love you, and I think of you every day.

[ Helicopter rotors whirring, gunfire ]

[ Baby crying ]

BOB: I haven't seen your mother act like this since you were born.

Your son is going to be completely spoiled by the time he meets you.

His grandma has his whole life planned out.

By the way, that includes college.

[ Baby cooing ]

[ Explosion, gunfire ]

[ Gunfire in distance ]

[ Explosion ]

The days passed just like all the other days of every year until that morning.

I'll never forget the sound of that doorbell.

[ Doorbell dings ]


[ Sobs ] No.



[ Sobbing ]

MAN: Thomas Revere was a brave soldier on the field of battle.

Sacrificing his life, he was awarded the bronze star.

Scripture says do not let your hearts be troubled.

And it goes on to say trust in God.

For if it were not so, I would have told you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me, that where you are we may be, also.

These are the words.

Please accept this flag on behalf of a grateful nation as a token of appreciation for the honorable and faithful service rendered by your loved one.

MAN ♪2: Half right, face!

Port, arms!



[ Gunshots ]

Fire! [ Gunshots ]

Fire! [ Gunshots ]

You know I love you.

[ Voice breaking ] I love you, too.

Thank you... for everything that you've done.

You're family. You'll always be family.

Would you please give this to Bob for me?

Thank you.

[ Sighs ]

I wanted the world to stop and understand the pain that I was in, to know how I was suffering.

I felt in some ways that my life was over.

Kari and my grandson left when I needed them the most.

They were the only part of Thomas I still had left.

Without my son... nothing else really mattered.

[ "Get On and Ride" by Bo Bice plays ]

♪ Get on and ride it in the fast lane, honey ♪

♪ Won't you get on and ride it? ♪

♪ Won't you get on and ride it now? ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

[ Bell rings, door closes ]

♪ Get on and ride it ♪

Something I can do for you gentlemen?

Boy, I'll bet that hurt, didn't it?


Come with me. Let's fix it up.

It was just a flesh wound, but I have to know what happened.

I cannot be involved in something illegal, guys.

It wasn't a crime, Mayor.

He accidentally shot himself.

♪ You say you love me ♪

♪ Then you bleed me dry... ♪

[ Snickers ]

♪ know I can't deny... ♪ You're good to go.

[ Chuckles ]

♪ ...if it so applies ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ Now your heartbeat's ticking in me ♪

♪ Like a bomb that's ready to blow ♪ It's okay.

♪ Did you see what you came to see? ♪

♪ Go ahead, enjoy the show ♪

♪ Take your time, if you're so inclined... ♪ Any time, guys. All right.

♪ Get on and ride it in the fast lane, honey ♪

♪ Won't you get on and ride it? ♪

♪ Won't you get on and ride it now? ♪

♪ Yeah ♪ Bob! [ Laughs ]

Hi! Look at you!


[ Laughter ]

Oh, wow! Oh, wow!

Chris! Oh, my! Look at you!

You're all grown up!

You look just like your dad.

He looks like his dad.

That's not some L.A. gang handshake, is it?

Bob. Huh?

Why don't you get the bags and show Chris his room?


So, after you go upstairs, we'll have Thanksgiving dinner.


I hope you're hungry. We're starving.

And we have not had a real Thanksgiving for years.

[ Sighs ]

Do you remember that old missions church that was down-town? Mm-hmm.

The one with the "Jesus Saves" cross on the side?

Well, we bought that building, and we put the community mission there.

The cross isn't there any more.

Can you imagine?

It offended somebody.

MAN: Hey, look, I know it's a holiday weekend, but I figured you'd want to know.

The Feds approved the funds. You're kidding me.

We'll get that addition for the veterans' home.


All right, man. Bye.

[ Chuckles ]

It had been 14 years since we looked into Thomas' trunk.

Even to see my own grandson open it was painful.

Can I watch these?

You can watch those.

Uh... thank you.

[ Door opens ]

DOTTIE: Oh, that's the Gideon Bible that he took everywhere.

ALL: ♪ Deck the halls with boughs of holly ♪

[ Laughs ] I never saw this one.

They're so cute.

Oh, see, Thomas is the shepherd, and J.J. as Mary.

Who's J.J.?

Your dad's older sister.

Actually she left before you were born.

We don't see her very often.


She didn't see eye to eye about things that Bob and I felt were very important.

So, why don't people do Christmas like that any more, with the shepherds and everything?

Well, for a long time, people have been trying to pass laws to get rid of Christmas altogether.

Today Christmas is all about Santa Claus and buying things.

[ Train engine chugging ]

[ Train whistle blows ]

[ Motorcycle engine revs ]

What did you say to him?

I told him to come home.

And I told him to defend our freedoms with his last ounce of courage.

Can I help you with something?

You must be Chris.

Yeah. I'm Madison.

Your dad and my dad were best friends.

What is that?

It's my dad's medal from the war.

So, do you want to go shoot some hoops with me and my friend?

Hey, Bob.

That needs to be in the box.

Can I keep it in my room?


It stays here.

Wait a minute.

Have you showed him this?

This is cool!

Dad... this is amazing.

When I get back from tour, I am gonna be cruising in this every day.

Dad... will you stop worrying about me?

You made it through the war okay.

Yeah, I wouldn't trade my time for anything.

You fought for what you believed in.

That's all I'm doing.

I know, son.

I know.


This truck was your dad's truck.

Maddy, you comin'?

Come on, Chris. Let's go.

Hey, Bob.

Lighten up a little, will ya?

Santa's coming, ya know.

Go on. Get out of here.

[ Chuckles ]

GREG: Kari Revere! Hi.


Well, you grew up, Greg.

So did you.

Is... Is that your son?

Yes, that is Christian.

Been a long time.

Too long.

Okay. [ Chuckles ]


Dottie made her famous brownies.

Do you want to join us?

Ah, no, I can't.

I've got to head into work for a little bit.

Maybe catch ya later?

[ Both laugh ]

We will be here.

You look great.

Thank you.

So do you.

Welcome back. Thanks.

[ Chuckles ]

Bye, Dad. I love you. I love you, too.


[ Chris laughs ]

[ Laughs ]

CHRIS: Grandpa doesn't seem to like you... or me, for that matter.

It's not you.

I think... he thinks that I let him down.

Sometimes life isn't fair.

But we just keep going.

Get some sleep, huh?

First day of school tomorrow.

I love you.

I love you, too.

[ Bell rings ]

[ Birds chirping ]

Chris is so California.

Now, what is that supposed to mean?

He's so hot!

Hey, you ought to get him to try out for the play.

Oh, yeah, so you can hit on him?

[ Bell rings ]

Speaking of hot...

Hey, I'll be right back.



Man, what's up with you?

I've got to go to the principal's office.

Why? Because they have some stupid rules about what you can't bring to school.

What did you bring, a knife or something?

A knife?

We found this in Chris' locker.

But Madison is now claiming that it's her responsibility.

Yes, sir, that's right.

I brought it.

And while I'm all for a student taking a position on a controversial matter, when that position is detrimental to the student body, the health and well-being as a whole, well... that's when I have to take action.

I spoke with the school's attorney informally, and he suggested that we all keep this as low-key as possible, okay?

Now, Chris, normally you'd be facing an in-school suspension, but you're new here, so, uh, I'm going to go easy on you this time.

Now, we're just going to pretend this never happened and, um, just ignore it.



All right, you're dismissed.

[ Door opens ]

Rusty... they didn't know. I'm sorry.

Oh, Bob, don't worry about it. Hey, thanks for coming in.


BOB: Christian... when prayer was banned from school, so was the Bible.

It's just the way it is now.

That's a stupid rule.

There ain't no rule.

Say again, Leonard?

There ain't no rule.

They can have their Bibles here if they want to.

They're just a bunch of cowards.

Thank you, Leonard.

Don't wait for me.

Could you hold on a second? Yeah.

Rusty, is there an actual rule that says you can't bring a Bible into school?

Well, no.

But I don't want any trouble.

You can't take any chances these days, Bob.

Everybody's looking for a reason to sue us.

Yeah, it's that space-odyssey play I wrote a few years ago.

Yeah, well, I don't want to brag, but I've always had a bit of flair for the dramatic.

[ Chuckles ]

Oh, Mayor, nice work on the veterans' home thing.

Nice. Yeah, I'm back.

[ "The O'Reilly Factor" theme music plays ]

"Factor" investigation segment tonight.

Christmas has become controversial in America.

Public displays of the federal holiday are under attack by the ACLU, and some department stores even tell employees to avoid saying "Merry Christmas."

Dude! Bob, you're famous!

Here's what we found out. Sears/Kmart would not answer...


O'REILLY: They were the worst we had to deal with.

85% of Americans say they are Christians.

Christmas is a federal holiday, signed into law by U.S. Grant.

And we're living in a time where some retail outlets will not say "Merry Christmas."


What did my dad die for, Bob?

That's what happens in war.

No, I mean, why did he die?

He gave his life for his country.

So, what are we doing?

What are you doing?


Your grandfather was in a very special unit.

He rescued prisoners of war.

What are you doing now?

It's not that easy, kid.

What are you doing? I'm just one kid.

Well, I'm just one grandpa.

I think...

Chris is right.

We should all be doing something.

MAN ON RADIO: And after 75 years, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce refused to sponsor the Christmas parade.

The L.A. city council took over and renamed it the Hollywood Santa Parade.

75 years of tradition gone.

So, what are we up here looking for?

Um... Christmas stuff, decorations.

Isn't that a little old-school?

Yeah, 'cause people don't really decorate around here any more.

Well, maybe they should start.


I agree.

Here's a reindeer. It's kind of Christmas-ish.

Thank you.

Here's a Santa Claus.

Nice. Cool.

Oh, jackpot!

Are you guys thinking what I'm thinking?

If you're thinking it's cheesy, then, yeah.

No, let's... let's put it up.

Let's put it all up tonight.

[ Thunder rumbles ]

I'm so glad you were there.

I just don't want Chris to get started off on the wrong foot.

You know how you can get a bad reputation real fast.

[ Laughs ]

[ Laughs ] Oh!

You remember that, huh?

You were a pretty bad boy in school.

Yeah, I was stupid.

I think you and Thomas got away with murder because you smiled your way out of everything.

Just like that!

Well, maybe once.

[ Both laugh ]

So, Chief of Police, huh? Mm.


Very impressive.

Then again, you always had to be in charge.

Well, it's overrated.

So, if you don't mind me asking, what's the story on Maddy's mom?


Stacy had her own agenda, that didn't include Maddy and me.

She's in Philadelphia or... somewhere.


I hope this isn't completely awkward.


Can I take you to dinner sometime?


So, Saturday night?



Sounds good.

Good. Good.

[ Laughs ]

Christian's right.

What am I doing?

What do you mean?

Dottie, what makes me any different than the next guy that just sits around and does nothing?

You remember that plaque that used to be on the courthouse wall with the Ten Commandments in it?


You remember that great big Christmas tree that used to be on the courthouse lawn?


Whatever happened to Christmas in this town?

I mean, I've been sitting around here watching it disappear just like everybody else.

Nobody says anything.

Did you ever think that you would see the day when people were offended by a cross in public?


Christian's right.

[ Motorcycle engine revs ]

BOB: I had been a coward, passive, and even selfish.

I had become so bitter and blind to what was going on around me, I asked God to forgive me.

I kept thinking about my son.

Now was the time to honor his sacrifice and show my grandson that the greatest battle... is doing what's right.

Mayor, are you okay?

Randy, I woke up about midnight, searched the Internet 'til about an hour ago, and I am better than okay.

I am absolutely fantastic.


Council wants your views in writing regarding the street improvements around the new addition to the veterans' home.

At 11:30 you have a Rotary meeting at Estelle's Restaurant.

Ooh, meat loaf today.

You might want to put a sports jacket on instead of that...

Now what about the report?

I thought I had key to the storage room?

Top drawer, silver key chain.

Do you ever listen to me? Sure.

You said, "Blah, blah, blah, Estelle's Restaurant."

Follow me. Come on, let's go.


Christmas Angel.


Boy, does that bring back some memories.

What kind of memories? Hey, Charlie.

Charlie. How are you guys?

You boys up to no good? Probably.

[ Chuckles ]

What's the news?

Last night at the city council meeting, all they want to do is get excited about nothing.

Oh, if they want to get excited about something, they can help me bring Christmas back to this town.

And I mean we're coming back in a big way.

I'm talking angels. I'm talking mangers.

I'm talking wreaths. I'm talking the birth of Jesus.

[ Stammers ] I'm talking about Christmas.

[ Laughing ]

He's not joking?

Gentlemen, did you know that about 150 years ago, Christmas was made a federal and legal holiday?

Didn't know that. I didn't know it.

A religious and secular holiday.

They're using the threat of a lawsuit to keep Christmas pushed back into the churches and homes and out of public places and schools.

Speaking of schools, did you know that our children are not allowed to sing Christmas songs in our schools?

Well, we always did. Oh, yeah.

They're not allowed to any more.

And a public school teacher is allowed to teach objectively about the origins of Christmas in the classroom.

Didn't know that. Didn't know that.

Well, they can.

They don't, but they can.

We can have a Nativity scene, as long as other religious symbols are acknowledged at the same time.

School districts across the United States are taking Christmas break off the calendar completely and replacing it with winter break.

I didn't know that. That's right.

Some towns...

[ Lights rattle ]

No red and green lights.

Some towns... no trees.

Some towns, no decorations at all.

And it's not because it's illegal.

There is no law against it, just a bunch of people that are afraid of what Christmas is really about.

Well, gentlemen, that stops today... at least here in Mount Columbus.

[ "Winter Wonderland" by Vince Gill plays ]

♪ Sleigh bells ring ♪

♪ Are you listening? ♪

♪ In the lane, snow is... ♪ Mayor.

How's it look?

It looks illegal to me.

That good, huh?

Are you sure it's not unconstitutional?

Randy, what part of "no" are you having a hard time with?

If you're getting nervous, go look it up.

Mr. Mayor, Connie Lee, Channel 7.

Can I have just a moment of your time?

Oh, you bet. I'll be right down.

CONNIE: According to sources I spoke with, and I quote, "Any religious symbol displayed on public property is a clear violation of the separation of church and state.

The religious decorations should be removed immediately."

For his part, Mayor Revere had this to say...

Hey, listen up! The mayor's on TV.

Well, I actually got the idea from my grandson.

He was wondering why don't we celebrate Christmas around here any more.

To tell you the truth, I just couldn't give him a good answer.

It's not illegal, so I figured by the time I'm done, I want Mount Columbus to be known as Christmas City.

All right, thank you, Mayor.

You're welcome. Merry Christmas.

Well, you heard right... the Christmas City.

The mayor is bringing religion back to this little town.

What a hog.

I think she's kind of cute.

The motorcycle, you moron.

♪ Sleigh bells ring ♪

♪ Are you listening? ♪

♪ In the lane... ♪ MR. BOUTWELL: Oh, Broadway.

You are an elusive mistress indeed.

Oh, ladies, are you ready? Okay. Whatever. Go.

But, Zondor, we are but space aliens who have traveled from afar.

Will the king accept us?

Not to worry, Zindor.

It has been foretold that the king will be born this night on planet Earth, and he will accept all who seek him and find him.

But how will we know it is the true king?

The supernova will light our way to the pot of gold, there the king will be, just as predicted in the scrolls of Plutonia.

Oh, yes!

Excellent, excellent.

Madison and Lindsey, where have you been hiding?

Hmm? Hmm? That was very, very good.

You are my aliens.

You know, I think with you two in the cast, this will be our most memorable winter space odyssey ever.

Yeah, you bet it will.

Excuse me?

Nothing. Thanks. [ Giggles ]

KARI: There's nowhere to RSVP on these invitations.

Oh, you don't need one. Everybody shows up.

Oh. [ Chuckles ]

And you put Christmas instead of holiday party.

I know.

We have been putting holiday for 10 years.

I am so proud of Bob.

Greg's coming, you know.

Yeah, and?


It's... We're just having dinner.

It's not a date.

It's not a date?

No. No?

Come on. It's a date.

I think it's a date.

[ Both laugh ]

[ Chuckles ]

RANDY: Uh, yeah, the mayor is not in on Tuesdays.

This is the mayor's assistant. What can I do for ya?

Doesn't work on Tuesdays?

Well, then, get me the deputy mayor.

[ Chuckles ] Deputy mayor?

We can barely afford our part-time mayor.

The mayor is the pharmacist.

Who is this?

This is the Hammer... Warren Hammerschmidt.

T-The Warren Hammerschmidt from TV?


Obviously your mayor is not fully cognizant of the statutes that pertain to the separation of church and state.

Can you remember all that?

Look, before this gets elevated to a level which I'm sure the mayor would like to avoid, tell him that I fully suggested that he offer a public apology to the community and take down those religious decorations.

And we will pretend this never happened.

And if you have any questions about this at all, you just... call me.

Thank you. Okay.

Thank you.

Did you hear the news?


You're all over the Internet.

We are having some major legal problems here, I think.

I got a call from Warren Hammerschmidt himself.


Warren Hammerschmidt.

The big guy. The guy that's...

He's on all the TV talk shows.

He told me to tell you this.

I wrote it down here.

He said to

"take down all religious Christmas decorations and make a public apology."

He told you to tell me that? Exactly.

And I got an email.

Look at this.

Mayor, they're threatening to have the governor withhold matching funds for the veterans' home.

For Christmas decorations?


Now, Mayor, I know how you get when you're backed into a corner.

No, Randy, you don't know how I get.

But I'll tell you what you can do.

You put together some sort of news conference for this evening.

It's not just about Christmas any more.


Have you ever noticed that the mere mention of Jesus nowadays seems to rub people the wrong way?


Well, I'm very tired of not standing up for what I believe in.

So, why are you standing there?

[ Sighs ] Kari...

I love you so much.

I just want so badly to hold you right now and just be with you.

And, Christian [chuckles] I saw your picture.

Thank goodness you take after your mom.

KARI: Chris, dinner.

What kind of changes are you guys making to the play?

Oh, Christian... just a little tweak here and there.

And everywhere.

What about your teacher? What's he going to say?

Ol' Mr. Boutwell?


Probably nothing.

And how do you figure?


He'll be in complete shock.

[ Crickets chirping, camera shutters clicking ]

Mr. Mayor, your actions have been described as reckless and insensitive.

How do you respond?

Well, if trying to restore a holiday that the majority of our citizens enjoy but a few ol' soreheads don't makes me reckless and insensitive... yeah, I'd say that pretty much describes me.

If I may, the mayor's actions are not reckless.

He is just trying to be sensitive to all faiths during this special time of the year.

Mayor, you hung a banner on the town's water tower that reads "Christmas City."

Don't you think that could be offensive?

December 25th is Christmas, Jesus' birthday.

Christmas is also a national holiday.

So, here in the city of Mount Columbus, this holiday season will be a Christmas holiday, not a winter holiday.

I mean, Christmas is for everyone.

If you're a Muslim and you want to pray to Allah in the middle of the town square, by all means, please, it's one of your rights.

If you're Jewish and you want to display your menorah and blow your shofar, go ahead, and accept my admiration for standing up for what you believe in.

But don't tell me and the majority of us that believe in Jesus Christ that we don't have the right to celebrate the day of his birth.

Because it's Christmas.

Mr. Mayor, this state cannot in any way promote a religious holiday.

[ Whispers ] It's Warren Hammerschmidt.

We're not.

We're acknowledging it's the Christmas season.

Excuse me. If I could say something here.

At first it was kind of hacking me off, what Bob was doing and everything, but, you know, I get where he's coming from.

I mean, Bob's just trying to fix what's already a national holiday.

Bob, can't do that.

Yes, I can.

And we will.

As a matter of fact, I'm going to lead by example.

You're all welcome to come by my house and see the Nativity scene that I'm building.

Come on, people. It's Christmas.

Peace on Earth, good will toward men.

Mr. Mayor, it is our job to protect all people, regardless of their color, creed, race, or religious persuasion.

The people of Mount Columbus deserve fair and equal treatment.

Look, pal, you don't have any jurisdiction here, and you will not intimidate me.

You are breaking the law. Show me the law.

Well, then, you are violating the Constitution.

Mr. Hammerschmidt, that is a lie, and you know it.

You and your organization have been putting fear into every weak-kneed school board and city council in this country.

Most of the time you're standing on nothing more than intimidation.

And I'm telling you, Mr. Hammerschmidt, that your intimidation tactics will not work here in Mount Columbus.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.

You, too, Warren.

[ Camera shutter clicking ]

MADISON: Let's go over the plan.

I've been doing some serious research.

In the real Christmas story, shepherds find the baby king, not aliens.



You can't be serious.

Well, I didn't know. I never read the Bible.

It's okay. It's okay. Let's just stay focused.

Okay, well, Lindsey and I have been working really hard, and we came up with the name "Operation Christmas."

"Operation Christmas"?

Can't we come up with a cooler name than that?

And what do you suggest?

Ooh, I got one.

Um, how about "Operation Global Cooling"?

How about "Operation Aliens"?

"Operation Aliens"! That's perfect! Yes!

How about "Operation Super Shepherds"?

Yeah, how about not?

Something with the word "super" in it always sounds good.

Or super bad.

Guys, guys.

It's "Operation Christmas."

How about "Operation Sabotage"?

How about if you're not in on it, you can't name it?

Just because I'm not in the play doesn't mean I'm not in on it.

[ All talking at once ]


It's "Operation Christmas."

Christmas, okay?

Here's the stage.

We're going to need somebody to be right here.

Maybe Chris?

Or maybe not.

They're going to have to put a clamp on the ropes so that nobody can close the curtains during the play.

And then we're going to also have somebody here...

I don't know, maybe Chris?

Or whoever... is going to have to put a lock on the light box.

What do I do?

Reagan... you are the dancer.

You just keep on dancing.

What, Trudy?

Um, I just, uh, I just wanted to say that, you know, this feels so wrong... and yet so right.

Thank you for that, Trudy.

Okay. This meeting is adjourned.

Let's go. Hurry.

We have a lot of work to do guys.


I'm sorry, but your sabotage plan, it's missing something.

Are you dumb?

There's no impact.

There is plenty of impact.

It just sounds lame.

Look, Chris, it's a lie if we don't tell the real Christmas story.

You want to talk about lame, you won't even help us.

That's lame.

[ Sighs ]

ERNIE: As president of the city council, I've got to know what's going on.

Christmas is going on, Ernie.

I think Ernie and the council just need clarification about your intentions, Bob.

Well, it's really very simple.

We're taking our freedoms for granted.

A couple of years ago, my son mentioned the word "God" in his valedictorian speech.

Well, today we would be sued by some lone humanist.

Bob, we all miss the good ol' days.

I'm not talking about the good ol' days, Ernie.

We are not losing some endangered species of fish.

Our freedoms are being taken away from us one by one.

Well, that's how we're taking them back... one at a time.

We're going to start with Christmas.

Now, if I want to put up a Nativity scene on my front yard, I'm going to do it.

If we want to put a Christmas tree on the courthouse lawn... like we used to... then we're going to do it.

Gentlemen, it's been fun.

What do you mean he's on the road?

Where's the mayor going?

Something about getting a big Christmas tree for the courthouse lawn.

Take care of that matter.

Now! Immediately! Do it!

♪ Grandma got run over by a reindeer ♪

♪ Walking home from our house Christmas eve ♪ Not one channel plays real Christmas music any more.

If I have to listen to that guy sing about his grandma being run over by a reindeer one more time...

Hey, I will take care of you, my friend.

[ Harmonica plays ]

♪ Going to go get a big ol' Christmas tree ♪

[ Harmonica plays ]

♪ Christmas tree, that is ♪

[ Beat-boxing ]

♪ We three kings of Orient are ♪

[ Humming ]

[ Beat-boxing ]

[ Yawns ]

♪ Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabelle! ♪

[ Vocalizing ]



[ Laughter ]

GREG: I couldn't sleep for about a year after Thomas died.

We both lost our best friend.

I'm sorry. Is it okay to talk about him?

How'd you get through it?

[ Sighs, chuckles ]

I threw myself into motherhood at first.

Then I realized I was a young mother and a widow with nothing.

I was just trying anything to get my life back and... start over.

5 years turned into 10, and 10 to almost 15.

I'm sorry I wasn't there for you.

Don't be.

I was just so young.

I'd... never seen a broken heart before.

I was too young to know what to do or how to help.

I'm sorry.

You apologize too much.

Sorry. [ Chuckles ]

Let's get out of here.

You see that little scar?

When Thomas and I were in fifth grade, um, we sat over there at the gazebo...

[ Sighs ]

And we, um... cut our thumbs... and pressed them together.

We thought it made us blood brothers.

He loved you like a brother.

[ Kisses ]


Turn around. Let me see.

[ Gasps ] It's beautiful.

No, no, no, it's yours.

Merry Christmas.

[ Laughs ]

Jesus loves you.

Everything is going to be okay.

Why don't you go get something to eat?

And look at you.

Hey, Dottie? Hmm?

I'm really glad I have you.


Me too.

Well, you are a space alien, if I have ever seen one.

Na-nu, na-nu! Na-nu, na-nu!

[ Both laugh ]

See that little boy over there? Yeah.

Why don't you go talk to him?

All right.

Reminds me of J.J. when she was little.

You know, in the old mission, she would hide in the coatrack, play hide-and-seek with everybody.

Oh, and then she'd climb on the counter and help me serve the meals.

Whatever happened with J.J., anyway?

Well... it's complicated.

I've never stopped praying for her to come back.

We talk.


I need to ask you something.


Does Bob think that I should have talked Thomas out of enlisting?

No, sweetheart.

Do you think anyone could have talked Thomas out of serving in the military?

No. That's...

That's something we'll never know.

[ Sighs ]

And although he won't admit it, I believe that Bob thinks he's responsible.

He just doesn't know what to say to you.

No one's responsible.

Things just happen, all right?

Come here.

I love you.

Enough of that.

Dottie, this came in the mail for you.

Oh, thanks.

So, I had a nice time with Greg the other night.


And I told him I needed some time to think.

I mean, I know I've known him forever, but...


The health department is going to close the mission... over Christmas.

MR. BOUTWELL: Curtain.

Music, Jennifer.

[ Piano plays ]

[ Children vocalizing ]



[ Vocalizing continues ]

Ooh, very good.

Very good, very good.

Okay, ladies, scurry.

Bow and scurry, bow and scurry.

Scurry, scurry, scurry, scurry, scurry, scurry.

And you're off. One moment, please.



Could we at the end of that, like, you know, have the lights come up sort of gradually, illuminating the stage in sort of, like... with the music in sort of like a rainbow-onic kind of a crescendo?

We could if the equipment was built after 1930.

A simple yes or no would do. Thank you.

All right! Cue the aliens!

Behold, Zindor, the star in the east.

It will guide us.

But, Zondor, we are but space aliens who've traveled from afar.

Will the king accept us?

Not to fear, Zindor.

It has been foretold that the king will be born this night on planet Earth.

And he will accept all who seek him and find him.

But how will we know it is the true king?

The supernova will light our way to the pot of gold.

And we will find the king just as predicted in the scrolls of Plutonia.








I-Is it just me?

Is it just me?

Whatever. Okay.

Let's go to the conclusion, please.

Everybody, center.

This is the "Silent Night..."

Wintry Night."

Let me feel the cold.

[ Door rattles ]

Blasted door.

Somebody's gonna get trapped in here.

It slams shut, locks tight.

Mr. Leonard?

May I talk to you for a sec about that door?

[ Indistinct shouting ]

[ Cheering and applause ]

CROWD: [ Chanting ] and state!

Separate church and state! No Christmas!

Separate... No Christmas!

CONNIE: According to Warren Hammerschmidt, Mayor Revere is flaunting the will of the people as he continues his public display of civil disobedience.

As you can see, a huge Christmas tree now stands defiantly on the courthouse lawn after nearly two decades of absence.

This latest development makes tonight's city council meeting even more interesting.

[ Indistinct conversations ]

You know, I appreciate your convictions.

But not everybody feels the same as you.

We could make this all go away.

Every year, my family throws me a little birthday party.

Christmas is about Jesus's birthday, and about there being dad-gum peace on Earth and good will to everybody.

I say we all enjoy that tree like we used to.

And, everybody else, just take a chill pill!

[ Crowd murmuring ]

Mr. Hammerschmidt.

People, tradition is not the issue here.

Not even close.

Mayor Revere has taken the law into his own hands to promote his own religion.

That is ridiculous.

You have overstepped your boundaries, Mayor.

You have overstepped your boundaries, Mr. Hammerschmidt.

I take offense to your politically motivated actions, and I'm here to protect my rights as an American citizen.

What about the rights of the people you serve?

What about the rights of the people you pretend to serve?

Whose liberties are you protecting?

What's that supposed to mean?

You're removing my freedoms, my rights, and my heritage as a Christian American.

We are talking about the separation of church and state.

Well, please, tell these people and me, what are your objectives?

You are supposed to represent all the citizens of your community equally.

Unlike your organization, that represents anti-American causes.

[ Murmuring ]

Sir, we are nonpartisan.


Nonpartisan, huh?

Well, it's like what Charlie said.

I'm just trying to bring back some tradition we all enjoyed before organizations like yours came in to take them out of public.

You really need to check your facts.

Stepping on your toes, am I?

Most people know what you and your cronies in Washington have been doing for years.

Well, as you can see, your fine mayor is trying to pick a political fight with me.

Hey, we didn't start this.

You're trying to tell us how we can celebrate a national holiday.

That would be like calling Columbus Day.

"Great Explorers Day."

It's just stupid.

You've been pushing your agenda down our throats for so long, I don't think you know what the truth is.

And as much as I may hate what you're doing, you're free to do it... just like I'm free to celebrate Christmas.

Mr. Chairman, I did not come to your fine little town to condemn a holiday.

I'm here to make sure that civil liberties are preserved.

Why don't you tell these fine citizens... that you didn't have the health department close down their Mission at the Cross while you're preserving their liberties?

[ Crowd murmuring ]

I don't know anything about that.

Mr. Counselor, a few moments ago I obtained a directive from the county court judge to have your religious decorations removed from the county courthouse.

You did what?


ERNIE: The judge's orders will be carried out ASAP.

Meeting adjourned.

[ Piano playing ]

♪ Silent night ♪

♪ Wintry night ♪

♪ All the stars ♪

♪ Shine so bright ♪

♪ Round yon snowman ♪

♪ Smiling so wide ♪

♪ It's the season ♪

♪ When stars collide ♪

♪ All the prophets foretold ♪

♪ We'll find a pot of gold ♪ That's good.

Oh, wow, that was good!

Hey, now, I didn't stay up all night working on those hand motions just to see them blown.

Make sure we get them right, hmm?

Work on that tonight, okay? Okay?

And careful with the little outfits.

Those are not trash bags.

Very, very expensive, okay?

Now, you're excused, but do not be late tomorrow, please.


A little more prompt, punctual.

Okay. Good night.

See ya.

[ Dog barking ]

Hopefully the audience will understand that Christmas is about peace and joy and love.

Won't we get in trouble for this?


We will.

You know, guys, this can really jeopardize my position as stage tech.

Guys, we can't get scared and chicken out.

I mean, we... we're all in this together.

Yeah, everyone's just got to pledge not to tell anyone about this plan.


Okay, Trudy?

My lips are sealed.

So are mine.

Mine too.

Me too. It's a total secret.

We've got to pledge on something.

Everybody, look around for something.

This must be Bob's.

What is that?

It's a medal of honor.

Bob's a hero.

Well, you know, I got a medal of honor once.

You were a hero in a war?

Oh, I guess that wasn't the same thing.

All right, then.

Let's pledge.

CHARLIE: But I've heard Bob's war stories all my life.

If we want to save the veteran home funding... and what's left of Bob's good name... the council has no choice.

Charlie, you're his best friend.

I figured you'd want to tell him.

The council has made its decision.

[ Crickets chirping ]

No one's coming to this party, are they?

I am so sorry, Dottie.


I didn't count on this.

If this is the way it's going to go... so be it.

I told you, I'm behind you all the way.

I promised.

[ Doorbell rings ]

Hi, Bob.

I was at the party earlier and I noticed something was missing.

And a couple of folks from the mission decided that since they were in the neighborhood, they'd stop by.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Come in, come in!

Thank you, Dottie. Merry Christmas.

Hi! Come on in.

♪ Joy to the world, the Lord is come! ♪

♪ Let Earth receive her King ♪

♪ Let every heart prepare Him room ♪

♪ And Heaven and nature sing ♪

♪ And Heaven and nature sing ♪

♪ And Heaven, and Heaven... ♪ Bob, do you mind if I talk to you privately?

[ Telephone rings ]

[ Truck engine revving ]

I'll be back.

[ Revving continues ]

[ Indistinct conversations ]

It's for you.

Hello? It's a little loud in here.

[ Wood cracking ]

[ Bulbs cracking, shattering ]

Bob, can I have that minute with you now?

[ Knocking on door ]

Mr. Mayor, is it true you were fired?

[ All shouting at once ]

Hey, peop... Hey! Hey! It's Christmas.

Don't you have a home?

I'll give you a statement tomorrow.

Mayor... is this true?

You know, Dottie, all those stories about rescue missions I told you about...

they're all true.

There's one mission...

I have never told anyone about, not even you.

It's not true, boy.

What's not true?

What they're saying about your grandpa.

Your grandfather is a hero.

How do you know about my grandpa?

I know everything about that mission.

You see, boy, I was there.

He was my sergeant.

Bob Revere is one of the bravest soldiers I've ever met.

Every mission he performed was perfect.

All but one.

My guys and I rescued some P.O.W.s.

We were trying to get them to an extraction point.

I knew the only chance they had for survival... was the dark and making it to that extraction point.

My corporal begged me to rest those men.

I didn't listen to him.

All I wanted to do was get them out, get them safe, get those boys home.

I made a terrible mistake.

My foot hit a trip wire.

I should have seen it. I didn't.

I was pushing them too hard.

Flares went up, bombs went off.

The only thing I remember was the concussion that blew me into a trench.

My whole right side went numb.

Then it all just broke loose.

MAN: Go, boys, go, go, go!

My corporal took a round.

I could feel Leonard's blood. It was... it was running down my neck.

I could hear my men screaming.

All but one of my men died that night.

I tried to save them, but... but I made a mistake.

My guys that died that night are the heroes.

[ Sobbing ] They're the only heroes.

The Mayor of Mount Columbus was fired last night by the city council because they claimed he was in violation of separation of church and state.

We go now to Connie Lee on the scene.

Thanks, Jessica.

Just when the mayor thought it couldn't get any worse, new revelations have surfaced that the mayor has a few skeletons in his closet.

Questions surrounding the mayor today are about what really happened during his time of military service.

Bob, Dottie, you'd better get in here.

Thanks for joining us, Chris.

What do you think about what's going on with your grandfather?

Listen, lady, I don't know much about Christmas and I don't pretend to, but I do know it's the time of year when people do nice things for each other.

And I don't get why everyone's getting so upset about a big beautiful tree with lights and decorations on it.

You know, Bob says it's not even about the tree.

It's about the freedom to do it.

And if Bob says it's a good thing, then it must be.

Oh, oh, and what they're saying about him not being a real war hero, that's ridiculous.

He is a hero.

All right.

Thanks, Chris. Well, you heard right.

It seems the root of this controversy isn't so much about Christmas after all but about freedom, according to the mayor's grandson.

Back to you in the studio.

Uh, Jessica.

I'm sorry.

In an unrelated story...

Yeah, see, I just kind of like the robe under it.

And it gives me a little more bulk!


[ Truck door closes ]

Looks like things are really heating up in Mount Columbus, Jessica.

Let's roll!

We go now live to Connie Lee who is standing by in Mount Columbus with breaking news.


Thanks, Jessica.

The drama just continues to unfold here in Mount Columbus.

As you can see, high above me, Bob Revere, the ex-mayor of what he called Christmas City, is trying desperately to hoist a cross to the front of this mission building.

Now, Channel 7 has learned that the cross was removed a number of years ago after a local citizen complained that the cross was offensive to him.

Bob, let it down.

[ Indistinct shouts of encouragement ]

[ Fire engine horn blares ]


Christian, you've got to go back!

It's too dangerous!

Mayor, I need you and Chris off the roof before someone gets hurt.

I'm not leaving.

[ Bob grunting ]

Can somebody go help them?

One more time? Let's do it!

I'm glad you're here. I'm glad I'm here.

Let's get one more. Try again. Okay.

Mayor... you need some help?

What took you so long?

CONNIE: It seems a member of a local motorcycle gang has come to Revere's aid, and he's helping him pull the old cross into place.

And now his grandson, Christian Revere, is helping in the effort.

We're on it!

[ Cheers and applause ]

You're just like your dad.

You good?

All right.

Oh, yes! [ Laughs ]

GREG: All right, Bob.

You've made your point.

Let's get you off that roof.

BOB: As you probably have heard, I am no longer the mayor of this town.

So tonight I stand here a freedom fighter.

This country was founded by freedom fighters, men and women who loved their country and their Creator.

400 years ago, our forefathers left the religious oppression of another land to build this one.

And the first thing they did... the first thing they did was to put a cross on the shores of the Atlantic.

But it was more than a cross.

It was a symbol that, in this land, a citizen has the freedom to worship as he or she desires or the freedom not to worship at all.

My fight isn't about colored lights or a tree on the city square.

My fight is about freedom and taking back what has been stolen from us.

We are losing freedoms one by one that our forefathers, our brothers in arms, and my son died for.

It is time we stood up for what they died for, for what we believe in.

Our rights are being destroyed perhaps forever.

But don't you see?

We're letting it happen.

We're asleep.

We sleep, and they come in like a thief in the night and they take what's left.

Wake up!

We can't sleep any more!

Wake up and look around you!

Look what's coming over the horizon!

We can't let the enemy take one more inch.

Not one more inch!

We can't be silent any more!

This silence has to stop, and it has to stop today!

Young men and women are dying in foreign lands to preserve the freedoms that we enjoy every single day.

Can you hear them?

Just listen.

It's their voices from the grave.

They're wondering if they died in vain.

Do we dare diminish their sacrifice by our silence?

Well, if your answer is no, then you think about this...

When history is written, will history say you stood by and you did nothing?

Or will history say that you fought?

You fought like those brave souls?

You fought to preserve the memory of the young men and women that have given everything for this country and for you?

We fight for freedom!

We fight for freedom!

We fight for freedom!

[ Applause ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Indistinct shouts of encouragement ]

Let's keep away.

Move away, please.

[ Shouting and applause continue ]



What are you doing?!

It's okay.

It's okay.

He's doing his job.

There is no bond.

I want you to go see the play.

[ Inhales sharply ]


They shouldn't do this.

It's okay.




Okay, stop right here.

Turn around, please.

Watch your head and step in.


I know the truth.

I found this in the attic.

If you weren't a hero before... you are now.

[ Engine turns over ]

[ Car door closes ]

[ Motorcycle engines rev ]

CONNIE: As the children of Mount Columbus celebrate their holiday with a winter play, the former mayor of Mount Columbus will spend his holiday in jail.

Reporting live from Mount Columbus Junior High School, Connie Lee, Channel 7 News. Back to you in the studio.

Jessica, it could be the last chapter in a very dramatic story.

Jessica? [ Chuckles ]

What are you doing?

Something I should have done a long time ago, Walter.

I'm going home to spend Christmas with my family.

Well, happy holidays, Jessica!

[ Theme music plays ]

And, uh, we'll be right back after these messages.

What the heck's going on here?!

MAN: So, you're the mayor. Prove it and get us out of here.

[ Cell door opens, closes ]

You did the right thing, Bob.

[ Radio static ]

MR. BOUTWELL: Our annual holiday play, entitled "A Winter Space Odyssey," gives us an historical look at our glorious beginnings.

Welcome to Mount Columbus Junior High School Theatre.

I'm Ronaldo Boutwell, your director.

Please enjoy tonight's show.

We will begin in just a few moments.

Good crowd, good crowd.

Is that, uh, Superintendent Jones there in the second row?

Don't get me started.

Did you see his musical production last year?

[ Scoffs ] Amateur.

"Miracle on the High Seas." [ Laughs ]

More like "Mutiny on the Low B Flat."

[ Laughs ] Yes.

And cue the curtain.

[ Piano playing ]

[ Children vocalizing ]

[ Piano and vocalizing stop, audience applauds ]

[ Giggling ]

What's going on?

They're just a little confused. Nerves, nerves, nerves.

Now, Stewie, cue the aliens.

What's happening?

Do something.

Stewart, cue the aliens. Cue them.

[ Audience murmuring ]

What's going on?



Don't be afraid.

I am an angel.

And I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all nations.

You didn't write that, did you?

He is Christ, the Lord.

This is not going well.

Close the curtain.