by Anthony @
S-Q has invited me to contribute to this blog and I feel honoured to accept her invitation.
My first post. What to say. Today’s big story? The latest on the war in Iraq? More on 9/11 Truth? No, something more personal.
My mind goes back to my first day in America in the July of 2004.
I went alone, flying from Heathrow airport to Boston’s Logan Airport.
I would spend a total of fifteen days in America, returning from Washington’s Dulles Airport, and visiting Boston, Cambridge, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Newport, Mystic, New Haven, New York (and yes, New Yorkers really do call it Noo Yoik!), Washington, the Watergate and Georgetown during a summer storm, the Skyline Drive, the house that Jefferson built at Monticello, Hooper’s Island on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake, and back to Washington to visit Pennsylvania Avenue, Congress, the National Gallery, and Georgetown again, on the way.
So many places. So many sights. So many impressions.
It was one of those experiences that you knew you would look back on and treasure for the rest of your life and you were in the process of living it!
I spent three days in Boston, which, for me, new to this country, and yet, strangely, not new with its curiously familiar Federalist architecture so similar to the Regency architecture back home, constituted the sum total of my first hand experience of America at that time.
What stands out the most?
The opening paragraphs of the declaration of Independence in an original Dunlap Broadside under glass on a wall inside the Old State House and being moved by those ringing words in a way I had never been before, and which, for me, constituted a kind of epiphany?
The Freedom Trail?
The intriguing Italo-American accents of Boston’s North End?
The hot-dogs and pizza (the best I had ever eaten), washed down with root ale, in the Food Hall of Quincy Market?
The harbor tour and the story of the burning of the Philadelphia during America’s first foreign adventure, told by a guide who buttonholed me in the USS Constitution museum?
The Harpoon IPA? (And I always thought American beer was crap!)
The “heavies” standing outside John Kerry’s residence in Louisburg Square?
Shakespeare on the Common?
Boston Red Sox on the telly in the Irish pub on Huntington Avenue every night?
The girl with cascading, curling golden tresses, who could have been anything from 14 to 34 who triumphantly held aloft a ball in the stalls above the Green Monster after a flurry to retrieve it after Kevin Youkilis had scored a home run?
The white sails of the yachts plying to and fro joyously on the Charles River?
No, none of these things.
What stands out the most are the words of John Adams, America’s second president, displayed under Perspex on a board on Boston Common:
“What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.” John Adams
Is the Revolution still alive in the hearts and minds of the people?
Judging by this blogsite, and many others like it, it still is.
It is my conviction and that of many others that Patriots today face their darkest hour since that winter which Washington and his fledgling army spent at Valley Forge, assailed this time not from enemies without, but from enemies within.
As Washington said: “ . . . you might have tracked the army from White Marsh to Valley Forge by the blood of their feet.”
Today, we must again fight for the survival of the Republic. But it a struggle that is not fought with the butt ends of muskets (in the case of the Patriots), or bayonets (in the case of the British), or sabers, or cannon, or flintlock pistols, but with information.
The Revolution had its Friends in this country then. As Coke of Norfolk, a fellow farmer who corresponded with Washington, said: "...every night during the American War did I drink the health of General Washington as the greatest man on earth."
And, despite the evil deeds done in America’s (and Britain’s) name in foreign lands, the Revolution has its Friends in this country now.
From a Friend of the American Revolution.
Oh, BTW, I found the tea in Boston a little salty!