Saturday, July 04, 2009

Walking Through History During The Independence Holiday

I'm currently visiting family on the east coast- my sister in Massachusetts, and then down to NY. Yesterday we spent the day in Boston, and walked quite a bit of the Freedom Trail. My 9 yr. old daughter was very excited about this since she spent a good part of her 3rd year in school learning American history. Both of my daughters are very into history, something I hope that sticks with them. I was never a big history buff until 5 or 6 years ago myself. Never really liked it in school.

Funny moment- the guided tours on the Trail are done by guides dressed in Colonial garb. I asked 9yr.old if she wanted her photo taken with a Redcoat- and she said "no way- I want my pic taken with a Minuteman!"

The history itself is amazing. The graveyard where Paul Revere lies, among so many others who started and ended their lives in our very new country. Even before it was a country. The kids had control of the map and pointed out many things along our walk. They loved standing in the Old Statehouse- we didn't go in the museum, but we did stand directly under the balcony where the Declaration of Independence was read 223 years ago. They were both excited and a little awed by this.

The high point for them was visiting the home of Paul Revere. This time we went in so we could walk through. 9yr old looks at me as we're walking in and says "you know he had 16 children from two marriages?" Sure enough, there it is written. After that is was a string of "this is so cool".

Did you know that one of Revere's daughters, Mary, went on to marry Abraham Lincoln? I didn't. Actually neither did my daughters, so we all learned something new.

It was such a great experience, walking in the footsteps of those who helped fight to begin this great country. I couldn't help but have a wave of patriotism come over me, I am proud to live here. It also makes me a little annoyed at those who are ruining the true meaning behind our struggle for independence with their hateful tea parties. They really should be ashamed. There is no struggle against tyranny, no fight for freedom in their goal. It's simply another chance to whine and complain about Obama and wonder why they haven't seen his birth certificate yet.

Yet they will all rally and slap each other on the back, thinking they are helping the greater good, when all they have accomplished is once again missing the point, and the real meaning behind our freedoms. Only concerned with their own personal situation. Not yours, not mine, certainly not the millions less fortunate struggling in this country we all share.

I'm happy my children will grow up understanding the history of America's Independence, and I hope they will always be respectful of the struggles so many went through so that we may have the true freedoms we partake in today.

Including misguided tea parties.