Monday, September 07, 2009

Paul Revere and The Sons of Liberty

We went to Boston today. Our teens, unfamiliar with the fact that Boston is loaded with history, seemed uncharacteristically pleased to be tagging along.

For awhile.

Waiting to cross the street to enter Boston Common. Is it me, or is this saggy-pants-halfway-to-your-knees the biggest fashion disaster since the Leisure Suit?

The complaining, whining, and griping started almost immediately when the word "history" was mentioned.

The beginning of The Freedom Trail. This was the graveyard for famous men like Samuel Adams and Paul Revere.

The girls pose by the commerative monument for Paul Revere. His actual gravestone is to the right.
Pretty innocuous gravestone for such a famous man.

The State House. The courtyard in front of it is where the Boston Massacre took place.

Many a discussion took place in this room, the site of the first state legislature.

The girls walk down the picturesque winding staircase.

John Hancock's clothing and famous signature

The exciting Declaration of Independence...which forever changed colonial America

Faneuil Hall, popularly known as "the Cradle of Liberty." It has a history of rousing patriotic speeches in it's public meeting hall.

Paul Revere's house

The girls stand at the bottom of a statue of Paul Revere

Our first glimpse of the Old North Church, site of the signal lanterns that helped to launch the Revolutionary War.
On the night of April 18, 1775, the Sons of Liberty, furious about the over-taxation from Britian, worked out a plan to warn other colonists how the British would be coming to confiscate the weapons that had been stockpiled in Lexington and Concord. Church Sexton, Robert Newman, and one other man were to climb the stairs to the belfry and hang lanterns to send a signal to the Patriots, waiting in nearby Charlestown. The signal was to be, "One (lantern) if by land, and two if by sea." At the time, the British had imposed a curfew that all colonists had to be indoors by dark. The Old North Church belfry is eight stories tall, so it was the perfect choice to send a signal that could be seen from 1.5 miles away. The men climbed to the belfry and held up the two lanterns for about 30 seconds--then dashed down the steps. The signal was seen immediately by the Patriots who had been watching for it, but it was also seen by the British patrols down below. They had no idea that it was a signal...they just knew that someone had broken curfew and the chase was on. Legend has it that the two men ran down the steps and jumped out this window. The British were unable to catch them, and since everyone was indoors, no one saw the curfew breakers. Mr. Newman was arrested two days later, though. Since he was the only one with keys to the church, the British knew he had to have been the one in the belfry.

Hanging in the window is now a replica of one of the lanterns.

The Sons of Liberty plaque.

It was amazing to walk the path that so many brave men and their families had walked so many years ago. Men who were willing to fight and die rather than lose their freedom. I left, feeling like our generation was doing them a huge disservice by seeming to be more interested in our own comfort and security rather than preserving what they had sacrificed so much to give us. Will we just quietly hand over our freedoms one by one?

As our boys were grumbling about why we had to take this 'boring' history walk, Jeff and I both quoted Abraham Lincoln's words to them,
"Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it."


Jill said...

What a cool post Karin! Thanks for the pics and the history lesson. I have never been out east, but I am thinking a road trip might be in our future one day!
Thanks girl!

Angie said...

Love the photos. I'll have to share them with Jacob...he LOVES history. Next time if your kiddos us. We'll tag along! Just give us a couple days to get there. :)

Lori said...

I think you need to take half of America (and our president) on that little trip for a REAL history lesson.

And the baggy pants...I was just wondering about that myself yesterday as my oldest headed out the door to go out with his friends. But I suppose it's slightly better than a fella in skin tight jeans like a couple decades ago. Ew!

Kim K. said...

How cool that you are so close to so much great American history. Have a super week!!

Kimberlie said...

Oh it brings back such memories! I walked the Freedom Trail the first time in July 1975 to commemorate the bicentennial. I grew up in NJ, not far from Jockey Hollow where the troops spent a brutal couple of winters. In fact, at one point the Revolutionary Army has marched right through our woods in our yard. The whole East coast is one long history lesson and you are within driving distance of it all. So many fun weekends for your teenagers with the saggy-baggy pants to enjoy. ;)

Sharon said...

Thanks for the history lesson. Loved the pictures and I have to agree with you that the saggy pants have got to be one of the worst fashion statements ever!!!

Adeye said...

What ab amazing day!!!

I am soooo with you on the fashion trend to wear pants around their knees. I just don't get it. For some, it seems, there is really a competition on to see how LOW they can possibly go. My question is--when the pants are truly down around their knees, how in the world to they keep them there? It seems as if they may head south at any given moment. Oh God in heaven, let this fad be done with by the time my sons are teens :)

trustandobey said...

Delicious walk with you in Boston. I was there 8 years ago and visited almost every sight you did. Amazing amount of history in that area...makes me feel sorry for the rest of the country. Don't worry about your boys' attitudes...when they grow up they will appreciate it.
On another subject...cannnot imagine wearing pants half way down my rear end. Looks bad and must feel just awful!!! I liken it to jeans in the surf, wet and sandy.YUCK!