To follow history today, we drove into Boston. After paying a toll to cross one of the bridges into the city, we made our way down to the Naval Yard and the location of where Paul Revere started his ride to warn the patriots. It’s also the location for the Bunker Hill monument. On the morning of June 17, 1775 an event that no one would have thought would happen, happened. It all started when King George III instigated a new series of taxes on the Colonists and the results came down to what is known as the “Boston Tea Party”. With the rights of the colonists being squeezed the thought of tossing 342 chests of tea, valued at over $1 million in today’s currency came to reality…it was done and the line was drawn. Getting back to June, 1775, the garrison commanders noticed that a change had developed over night on Bunker Hill. “Late in the evening of June 16, William Prescott passed over Bunker Hill and led 1,200 men to Breed’s Hill and, Under the direction of Richard Gridley, built an earthen fort.” As the sun rose that morning the commanders knew things would never be the same again. After making preparations for attack, the British garrison landed on the shores of Charleston and marched forward to Bunker Hill.
It took 3 different charges before the Kings army finally routed the militia but it didn’t come without a huge loss to the regulars. As they made their first attack on the “Hill”, they started noticing the decline from 2,200 men to less than 1,000 after the last surge. Well anyway, while taking a tour with the ranger we were not only learning more about Bunker Hill history but were also walking the walk. Bunker Hill is now surrounded by million dollar “Brownstones” (townhouses) but Bunker Hill still stands on its own. Standing tall at the crest of the Hill is the granite obelisk that was completed in 1843.
As I stood in front of the obelisk and noticing that it must have a great view at the top, AND also noticing that there was a doorway leading to a series of 294 steps,
I challenged myself to “see that view”… With 3 short stops on the way up I found myself pretty cocky for getting there…I made it and am able to talk about it. Now all I have to do is make it through the rest of the day as we haven’t been to the Charlestown Navy Yard yet. From 1814 to the end of the second war (1943) the Charlestown Navy Yard has been a major player in ship building. The first ship was the USS Independence, the battleship of its time, to the 170 Navy vessels that the Charlestown Navy Yard built for WWII. They finally closed the ship yard in 1974 and turned it over to the National Park Service to keep and serve to and for the people of this country. Tied to the docks in the yard are two examples of what was constructed there. First is the USS Constitution, with the three huge masts standing tall and mighty,
and the other is the USS Cassin Young, representing (and doing a great job of it…) the WWII class destroyer the fastest and most versatile ship in the fleet.