Of Bunker Hill and battles to come

It is a radically changed nation we live in today compared with the America of just three years ago.

Since the national economy came close to collapse at the end of 2008, nearly everything about our lives and how we view the future has been altered.

The job market has all but disappeared. There is no job creation. We remain mired in a nasty recession that has seen home values plummet and the stock market fall to levels not believed possible.

There is a general feeling of wonder about what comes next for the nation, for our kids growing up, for our parents growing older and for things like Social Security, Medicare and national health insurance.

The ongoing oil spill disaster seems to be widening and deepening by the day and for all our technological wizardry and advancement, we are unable to stop the oil leaking from a nine inch pipe.

The government’s response to this crisis has been sub-par, we believe.

The president should have announced immediately that he was mobilizing 100,000 of the unemployed to engage in the largest, most comprehensive clean-up in the history of the nation.

Instead, his response is largely about rhetoric in another instance of cause overshadowing effect.

All of this muddle we find ourselves in is relatively minor when compared to what the Americans faced during the battle of Bunker Hill in Charlestown in June, 1775.

Chelsea residents climbed to the top of homes near to the Mystic River to watch the battle.

There was no lack of leadership.

No worry about lives or fortunes

The greatest call among the people seeking freedom over British domination and the rule of the king was a call to arms – a call to fight to be free.

Answering that call led to the Battle of Bunker Hill – the single most decisive moment of that era when the British were faced for the first time in 300 years by a force of men who did not run in the face of the mighty Red Coats.

They stood and they fought and they died and they were wounded – by the hundreds.

But they proved for all the world to hear that the British were not invincible and that their days in North America were numbered.

The Battle of Bunker Hill was the beginning of the end for the British.

They refused to believe that, and were reluctant to acknowledge that the end had come until 1781 following the Battle of Yorktown when the British General Cornwallis surrendered his army to General George Washington.

The spirit that is America was born with that victory and of that war for independence.

We are today beset by a host of societal and economic difficulties.

But we remain free as a people and we remain as well, a beacon to the world and the living proof that we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with freedom and justice for all.

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