Oh, Say, Can You See…

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 at 08:24 AM.

            I wish I could spend this Fourth of July on Bunker Hill. From there you can see Breed’s Hill where most of the fighting actually took place back in 1775. It was the first sustained, pitched battle of the American Revolution. We lost that day. But we didn’t run. A group of rag tag New England colonist stood up to the best equipped and most feared army in the world at that time and didn’t blink. When the day was over the British occupied both hills. But they lost almost one-third of their fighting men in the taking. And the young American soldiers didn’t slink away. They retreated like an organized fighting unit.

            Both sides learned a valuable lesson that day.

            I’ve gotten so caught up in the comfort of my own living these days that I don’t dwell much on how I got here. In my near sighted egotistical mind, I probably think I did it with my own power and might.

            The Continental Army was officially three days old when the fight for Bunker Hill took place. Those Bunker Hill defenders hadn’t had time to be sworn in. They were fighting for the most basic things on earth; freedom, liberty, independence….the right to make their own way!

            I’ve enjoyed those attributes of this great nation all my life. I’ve done piddling little to obtain them.

            Maybe if I could stand on that hill on this Independence Day I could catch a glimpse of the spirit of those men. I wonder about the thoughts racing through their heads as they dug in. I wonder how each individual “defender” came to be on that hill on that particular day. I wonder about their age. (The minimum age to enlist in the Continental Army was 16; 15 with parental consent.) I wonder if they were as afraid as I would have been when the Red Coats formed up below. I wonder if they had any inkling of the nation they were laying the foundation for when they raised those muskets to their shoulders. I do not wonder about their courage.

            When I was 16 years old I was playing American Legion Baseball and dating Billie Jean Barham.

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