History, undisturbed

In 1775, 90 British soldiers encountered 400 rebels at the bridge you see in the distance below. The British told the rebels to stand down — to put down their arms — but the rebels did not, and instead one of the British soldiers fired a shot at the 400. And thus began the Revolutionary War.

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We got lost for a while — going up and down these slippery steps — trying to find the bridge.

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Kristen decided it would be a good place to take pictures.

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It really isn’t a remarkable place and it isn’t guarded as if it’s the place where this nation began. In fact, it isn’t guarded at all. After some roaming, we found this statue, which is of the man who fired the first shot:

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I mentioned to Kristen that I couldn’t believe we lived 20 minutes away from here, mostly because as a kid I dreamt of visiting this place. This was a world that only existed in textbooks and Schoolhouse Rock, but now we were alone at the bridge and it was normal — almost obscenely so.

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I’ve been to places that are important because they are glorified, not the other way around. But this place was neither glorified nor important; it just was.

In fact, this place was entirely undisturbed. A woman was walking her dog, a father and son were meandering toward the bridge. But otherwise, there was no indication that this place was anything special. It looked like every other New England historical site with a bridge, a plaque and everyone else walking right by it.

It’s the same feeling I got at the Metropolitan Museum of Art when I was alone in a room, looking at a Monet, with no one to tell me how to feel or what to do. Or the feeling I got when standing in the middle of Allen Fieldhouse, arguably the most sacred place in college basketball, with the lights off and no one around to yell at me for getting the floor muddy.

I like these moments because humans like to decide what’s important and what’s not, and it’s nice to remember that we do such a thing.

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