today’s holiday: Bunker Hill Day

Bunker Hill Day

Observed primarily in Boston, Massachusetts, Bunker Hill Day commemorates the Revolutionary War battle of June 1775 between 2,200 British troops and half that number of Americans. It was, in fact, Breed’s Hill that was fortified, not nearby Bunker Hill, and that is where the British attacked the rebels three times. Although the Americans were driven from their fortification and lost some 450 men, it has always been looked upon as one of the great heroic battles of the Revolution. A 221-foot granite obelisk in Charlestown, north of Boston, marks the site of battle. More… Discuss

4 responses to “today’s holiday: Bunker Hill Day

  1. Thanks George! Your idea was a good one, I did expand it into a post with photos and a mention of you. Just posted it

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  2. Gosh. How I remember lounging around that statue/memorial when I was a kid. We had absolutely no appreciation re. its significance. When tourists came to look at it, we just couldn’t believe the license plates. But we were absolutely certain of one thing: if we ever had cars and vacations and choices, no force on earth could compel us to travel 800 miles to look at some stupid piece of rock. If nothing else proved that adults had no sense of direction, the national trek to a hulking hunk of rock in the unsentimental working-class Boston neighborhood of Charlestown settled the question.
    Years later, as an American history major in San Francisco, I thought of Paul Revere’s house.
    Yep. Three thousand miles away. I thought keenly of the (Old North?) church, Longfellow’s house, sitting big and yellow right there in Harvard Square, the colonial cemetery with the bent iron railings, Old Iron Sides, the Lexington Green, the Transcendentalist Alcott community called Fruitlands, Walden Pond – and was furiously gripped by the sheer idiocy of the modern child. I had ignored all of them, except for Walden Pond, a fairly sizeable lake that I leaped into on hot summer afternoons when we were able to hijack a relative with a car. I had not set foot into Harvard’s exquisite free museums – I had only gotten stuck (several times) and hauled down from the lap of the huge statue of John Harvard. Also, kicked out of the music department for sneaking in with my friends to bang out Chopsticks on the practice pianos.
    Years later, as I made arrangements to move from San Francisco to the Midwest, I had a moment of perspective – and spent my last month riding cable cars, at Fisherman’s Wharf, in Little Italy, Chinatown, and North Beach (no beatniks had been seen there for to decades. I rode the ferry across the Bay and ate at the Cliff House. I did everything the tourists did – it was the first time for all of us, only I had been right there for 12 years.
    But I eventually learned the power of place. I had moved not 20 miles from the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
    Without stopping to unpack, I drove straight to the crumbling town of Cairo (pronounced Kay-ro) Illinois. It had once been the pride of the Mississippi. I climbed a modest observation tower, took one look, and lost my breath.
    Boy, was that something to see.
    By the time I left graduate school five years later, the rivers located me like a compass. They still do, and they always will.
    And that summer I walked Boston’s Freedom Trail for the first time. I even went to Bunker Hill.
    It’s not that I’m a patriot. Trust me on that.
    It’s just that I need to know where I am.

    You know, Bunker Hill is amazingly interesting.

    P.S. I’m sorry for such a long comment. I planned a short one. Thank-you for posting this.

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    • I was away (from my…desk, which is really not a desk thanks goodness) so I read now, the very detailed memories and events you experience in those years (between me and you and th erest of the world: early life memories are awesome, and without equal… I really appreciate you sharing your memories, and commneting, hopefully you may, if not already, create a post, using your comment as storyline!
      Thanks again! Let’s find a nice video on youtube (which is now hijacked by google) and post it!

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