Yesterday, I met Susan and Carole when they arrived in Boston aboard MV Royal Princess, which is operating on her published "Canada/New England" itinerary. They sailed from New York on the evening of Monday, 10 September, and thus were among the last to see the twin towers of the World Trade Center at night.
We drove out to the battle green in Lexington and the Old North Bridge in Concord, where the first shots of the American Revolution rang out on 19 April 1775. It was an interesting time to visit those sites and an interesting reflection on what makes our country great. It seems fitting to reflect on Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Concord Hymn," the first stanza of which is etched into the statue of the minuteman on the far side of the bridge.
<h1 align=center> [b] Concord Hymn [/i]
<p align=center> By Ralph Waldo Emerson
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their falg to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmer stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this geeen bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
Tod die, and leave the children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
"Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow also would be good material for reflection, in spite of its "poetic license" in playing loose with historical facts.
The challenge that we face against a terrorist threat to our society and to our way of life that our forebearers won for us is, in many ways, very similar to that which our forebearers faced during the revolution. The enemy may have cells of terrorists within our midst, but their enemy also had cells of loyalists within their midst. Let us resolve to stand up for that which is right, taking on all enemies -- both foreign and domestic -- of the freedom that our forebearers bought with their blood so that we might preserve that freedom which is ours for many generations to come!