Win a Thistle

( Last updated Sunday 04 July, 1999 )

We've lived that dream ...

How has Braveheart changed your life?

We picked some thistles in September in the Scottish Highlands when they were in flower. We pressed them (as in Braveheart) and now offer six as prizes in a competition.

Braveheart has changed our lives.

It must have changed the lives of thousands of people.

We asked you to tell us how it changed your lives. We promised to post the contributions here and send thistles to the six best entries.

The competion closed on 30th November, 1996. Our thanks to everyone for their entries. We appreciate the amount of work which has gone into them.

The winners we have chosen are (in alphabetic order):

OK, there are seven winners - we miscounted our thistles! We wish we could have sent a thistle to everyone.

William Cameron William Wallace is and always will be my one and only hero. When I heard that they were going to make a movie about him, I couldn't wait to see how it was going to come out. I think he would have approved!

I have been interested for many years in my Scottish background and have read every book I could get my hands on about the Sottish clans and their struggle to survive.

Now, I'm no poet, that's for sure. But some time before BraveHeart came out, a few lines came drifting into my thoughts and I wrote them down as fast as I could before I would lose them. My idea was to make it into a poem about how the Highlanders charged their enemy through the centuries, up to and including the Battle of Culloden. When I saw William Wallace and his Highlanders charge Edward's army in BraveHeart, ( even though it was a different time period ) I saw before my eyes what I was trying to write down on paper...... THE HIGHLAND CHARGE

Out from the wilds,
The Highlanders came,
A rainbow of colours
Through the mist and the rain,
Flashes of steel
Could be seen from afar,
As the clans raised their claymores
Up to the stars.

Fathers and sons
Stood side by side,
"For King and Country"
Their motto, their pride.
Their voices raised high,
Could be heard o're the glen,
For the Highland charge
Was about to begin.

With targes at ready,
Their muskets well primed,
They jostled about
To form a rough line,
And face the enemy
Down in the glen,
For the Highland charge
Was about to begin.

No signal was needed,
Emotion took o're,
No traces of fear for
To damage their core,
These sons of Scotland
Were the bravest of men,
When the Highland charge
Was about to begin.

William Cameron.

I think that BraveHeart has changed all of our lives, just like William Wallace did so very long ago. See you all at the BraveHeart Convention!

Cliff Capers The Braveheart experience affected my life in a very private way.
Georgia Taylor Perhaps I should begin by including a message I mailed to Mel Gibson in March, 1996, just a few days before the Academy Awards:

Mr. Gibson,
You have accomplished your goal. I was left speechless after experiencing your masterpiece, "Braveheart". I had long respected you and your career choices , but this reaffirmed my opinion that you are the greatest talent in film. I want to wish you the best of luck on Oscar night. I have kept a scrapbook on this film and am proud to have a record of your journey to the Academy Awards. I carry a little piece of your portrail with me; and when I need a bit more courage, sensitivity, loyalty, honor, or creativity I call on it. You've woven a golden tapestry and each thread holds an insight into life that I'll always remember.

Sincerely, Georgia Taylor

After nearly two years of tracking the movie itself, William Wallace, and Scottish history, I can truthfully say that I'll probably never have an experience quite like my Braveheart one. The entire concept is a compilation of so many of lifes truths; courage, loyalty, faith,-both in yourself, others, and in God-betrayal, love, hate, and perhaps most of all .........FREEDOM.

Personally, it is difficult for me to imagine believing in something strongly enough to die for it. Even if this story had not been true, it would have been compelling. The fact that these men, and this one man, held to their beliefs to the end simply took, and continue to take, my very breath away. How can anyone come away from experiencing Braveheart and not examine his/her life in a new light?

Brilliant? Certainly. I felt I was actually* there* during this movie. Somehow any distraction to what was happening up on the screen was intolerable. I still won't watch it til the lights are down, the phone turned off , and my family warned "Do not disturb". I can't even imagine popcorn or a coke when I'm there with Mel and company; and I'm a nortorious snacker!

Inspirational? Absolutely. The subtle ways that William Wallace is portrayed as a man of faith are astounding: at his father's funeral, his wedding, Murron's burial, his battles, in the tower before the execution and , of course, the execution itself. I still can't watch this entire scene.

When life brings challenges that almost overwhelm me, I call upon my "Braveheart Courage" and , you know, I actually am better able to see my way through the crisis.

You can definitely say that I am a different person, and I approach life in a different way, since this movie caught me off guard. I cannot think of anything on earth that could keep from attending the Braveheart Convention in 1997. What an opportunity. I am looking forward so much to meeting other kindred spirits.


Georgia Taylor
Johanna Hopkins The life of William Wallace as portrayed in the movie Braveheart has changed me in several important ways. For one, it has helped me to be willing to seize the moment and not keep putting off hopes or dreams even though the undertaking might be difficult. For example, I have wanted to go overseas for some time but kept putting it off for one reason or another. But after I saw Braveheart my desire to see the homeland of that awsome man finally pushed me to go. I planned the whole trip to see many of the places in the movie, made most of the travel arrangements, asked several friends and found one willing to go along, and then went to Scotland! And had a terrific time. I will be back next year for the Convention. It may not seem like a life or death thing, but for me it showed I could do something like this and succeed.

Another way Braveheart has changed me is the behind scenes story of how Randall Wallace kept the faith and wrote the story he wanted to tell about a man who captured his heart and mind. Randall's struggle to bring this script to the screen and his insistance that whoever made the movie keep the spirit of Wallace has incouraged me in two ways. First, too keep writing and working on my story the way I want to do it; and secondly not to get discouraged when the writing is going slowly or others are not interested.

Finally, this movie made me appreciate in a very concrete way the many freedoms I have as an American. Wallace had to fight and fight in the hope of someday having the liberties I sometimes take for granted. As long as I remember this man in this movie, and I will always remember Braveheart, I will be more aware of, more gratefull for, and more willing to take a stand for those freedoms that Braveheart was willing to die for.
Guy Stancliff The film "Braveheart" has significantly changed my life. Being a screenwriter and possessing a love for film, "Braveheart" has reinforced not only my belief in the power of the moving picture, but that in the power of history to remind of how we as humans have persevered in the most abject of times. Watching "Braveheart" is like watching no other film, it thrusts you into a world of beauty yet, simultaneously, a world of abhorrent conflict. And from this turmoil in such a heavenly land as Scotland, one individual rose to lead his people, William Wallace.

I had never heard of Wallace before "Braveheart", for that matter I never even studied Scottish history. But as the first frame of the hung villagers lit up on screen before me, my heart bled. Innocent life taken needlessly. A young William looking on in fright, I began to realize I needed more of this tale. I watched as I saw the most beautiful love scene ever put on screen: that of a young girl giving a heartbroken little boy a thistle. A thistle that someday he would give back to her. I watched as William lost his love, I watched as he fought back against the English. I watched as he defeated the English at Stirling, I got stirred to fight as he spoke to his fellow countrymen of a regret they would feel, a regret of not fighting for Freedom... for Country.

I watched as he himself was defeated at Falkirk. And now, it was near this scene, this point that one, if not the, most poignant scene in film history began. That of the scene of William taking off the Bruce's helmet. Dropping down to the ground, I felt my heart break in two as William said not one word, but just questioned with his eyes: "Why?" It wouldn't let up there, for another scene would come that would be as heart felt as ever: the Bruce in the midst of slain compatriots on the battlefield. Wandering, thinking... why did he betray not only his country, but himself? Have we not all felt the same? Betraying our own beliefs? But the great Robert the Bruce made up for it by eventually defeating the English.

James Horner's score echoed and my emotional ride would not stop as I watched the legend of Wallace grow. Watching Wallace stand on the top of a hill looking out at his country. Longshanks couldn't kill legend, no matter how many times he won on the battlefield. Although, in the end, we would all watch William lay his life down for Freedom and Country. A scene I will never forget. The cry of "Freedom" rings through me still.

"Braveheart" may be dramatized, it may not be historically accurate throughout, but it is also guilty of displaying truth. Truth of the difference one individual can make. Perhaps we know little of William Wallace, but he left this world giving more to it than he'll ever know. He gave this world a story to tell, one of Fighting for Freedom, a God given right. One every human being deserves.
"Braveheart" has changed my life because I know now that film, the mysterious moving light in the dark, can change lives and make a difference... just as William Wallace did for Scotland. I now live my life thinking of those words each day: "Every man dies... not every man really lives."

Mike Stauffer Braveheart has change my life so much. The movie made me appreciate life alot more than what I used to. I take the freedom that I have a lot more because the movie oppend my eyes to what the US. has to offer.
Freedom is the best thing you could have dont let anyone take it away from you. Thats how BRAVEHEART makes me feel.
Nicola Flaherty Braveheart has changed my life in the way that people can now see where I'm coming from.

Previously, so many people had not understood how I feel about the english, how they had treated us for centuries, and suddenly, thanks to this wonderful film, they have been put straight.

Don't get me wrong, people aren't giving me sympathy - they are giving me praise for being Scottish, and admiration too.

It makes it doubly nicer when you go abroad and people ask if you are Scottish. At least now they talk about something else apart from Nessie and Haggis!
R. Joshua Langan The movie BRAVEHEART has changed my life because for one thing I now know that there were TRUE warriors that did care about other than just going out and killing, that they cared about family, and friends, and other people other than themselves. Being 11 years old I have never had any one to look up to or to think of as someone that I wanted to be like. So now instead of having to find a athlete or a movie star or the like I can have a hero that did live and did exist. The movie BRAVEHEART has changed my life and I will never forget him.

Thank You
Nancy Forsyth MacCutcheon Snodgrass I watched Braveheart just because it was on HBO -- and I fell in love with the story. I was especially heartbroken by the tortured soul of Robert the Bruce. I recommended the movie to our family historian/genealogist, who informed me that Robert the Bruce is our ancestor! It was an odd and almost eerie feeling, as I had been so touched by the portrayal by Angus McFadyen. And it's my FAMILY! I'm thoroughly Scottish on both sides of the family -- my father, whom we buried this year, and for whom I would love to honor with a thistle from the homeland, was MacCutcheon Snodgrass, a proud, stubborn stoic who mostly felt that life was to be "endured, not enjoyed". I later found a Scottish literary quote that said this same thing! My father was "piped out" properly and is buried simply. His picture in my home is lined in the MacDonald tartan. I would LOVE to add a thistle to this display.

Braveheart has made me crave to learn more of our history, to embrace the country that claims me. I can never see the movie enough; I can never feel more proud of my ancestors, I wish I could thank the filmmakers for bringing our colorful brave history to millions of people.

I plan to visit someday, but it will be a long while. Until then, thank you for this site, and I wanted you to know how much it means to me. I feel such a bursting joy and love for Scotland, the Brave. This movie has made me vow to spread the word of her valiant sons of history, to my young niece and nephew (my father's namesake) so that they will feel this same pride and love also.

Scotland Forever -- Nancy Forsyth MacCutcheon Snodgrass.
Eric Boyd The movie Braveheart has changed my life in one signifigant way. It will help me graduate from high school. At my school, we have to do a senior research paper, oral presentation, and visual presentation. I have chosen to do mine on the movie Braveheart. I am learning a lot about Scottish history in the process and gaining a respect for my heratige. This is how Braveheart changed my life.
Patricia Sutton After seeing the film Braveheart it is now my opinion the US should end all alliances with England.

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