Ken Burns Wants to Honor Your Home Town, and He Needs Your Help to Do It

by Clayton Edwards

Ken Burns is one of the most popular and prolific documentarians in the United States today. We loved his deep dive into the roots of country music. His Civil War documentary was eye-opening. We could go on and on. To put it mildly, we’re fans. However, his new project is something that resonates more deeply with the Outsider crew.

Ken Burns is teaming up with another well-known history buff, country music icon Marty Stuart, to bring this new project to life. Earlier today, USA Today ran a piece penned by Burns and Stuart that explained the Honor Your Hometown Project and how we can all get involved. Burns lays out the thesis of the project in the video below. Check it out.

In the video, Ken Burns says, “The Honor Your Hometown Campaign is about all of us. It is a reminder that no matter where we’re from – big city or a small town, north or south, east or west – we are connected to the places and people who shaped us. So much more connects us than divides us. We are the United States. We are us and there is no them.” Burns goes on to say that he believes that the country needs this kind of initiative right now. It’s “A celebration of where we come from and a reminder that we should be hopeful because our common bonds and values outweigh whatever differences we might have.” We couldn’t agree more.

More About Ken Burns’ and Marty Stuart’s Campaign

Ken Burns and Marty Stuart started the Honor Your Hometown Campaign with a simple question. Why isn’t there a national tradition for celebrating our hometowns?  It’s a solid question. After all, there are “national days” for just about everything else. National Drink Beer Day is an annual thing. Hell, we celebrate the greatness of tacos once a week. However, we don’t have a day to celebrate the towns that forged us.

In the article, Ken Burns states that the theme of the campaign comes from Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. Garth said, “Let’s focus on the things that tie us, and not the things that divide us.” To which Trisha Yearwood added, “That whole hometown mentality is something we need to carry with us.”

How You Can Help Burns and Stuart Honor Your Hometown

Getting in on the Honor Your Hometown campaign is simple. Just make a 1-to-2 minute video telling Ken Burns about your hometown. Then, upload it to your social media platform of choice using the hashtag #HonorYourHometown If you visit the campaign’s website, you’ll see the entries they’ve already received, including Marty’s and Ken’s entries.

If you need another reason to join in on the campaign, here’s a great one. You’ll be in good company. Dolly Parton was one of the first people to send in a video. Check out her entry below.

This might seem like a gimmicky and insignificant thing when taken at face value. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. As Ken Burns put it in the USA Today piece, “Honoring our hometowns might seem small or insignificant to some. We disagree. American democracy, the essence of our civic life, is built on a foundation of strong community.”