This winter, my boyfriend and I decided to get out of being huddled in New York and to take a trip to Boston. We had been experiencing some terrible snow and ice and although the Boston area wasn’t much better (in fact, we never got into town because everything was snowed in), but we were able to take a short drive from Adam’s house to Minute Man National Historical Park.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a location I had heard so much about from the history books. This spot was where the beginning of the United States of America took place, and the only battlefields I had ever been on looked like battlefields—they were empty spaces in the middle of Montana where battles against Native Americans had taken place.
The park protects close to 1000 acres between the three towns of Lincoln, Lexington, and Concord. When you first enter the park, you cross a bridge. It was wonderful to be there in the winter. I was so surprised to find that a former battlefield could be made into something so scenic. I had a hey-day with my camera snapping photographs.
As a writer, one of the most interesting aspects of the visit was the poetry and writings that were posted on signs throughout the park. We were treated to writings by Ralph Waldo Emerson , Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott. Although we didn’t check out the visitor’s center, we did visit the house where many of these writers stayed overlooking the battleground.
The North Bridge was also a major highlight after hearing so much about it in poetry and song. Even though the air was a bit nippy, I was warm from walking around the park and enjoying the beautiful sights.
One of the best parts of the park is the fact that it is still in use by families and those looking to enjoy the outdoors. We saw cross country skiers and snowshoers and kids sledding down the sloping hills. It was a bit of a weird thought to think that children were building snowmen where real men had fallen, but it was also good to know that parents had taken their children to a park where such an important part of American history had taken place.
I love stepping back in time, and I’ve been many places where I felt like I have been a part of history. This was a special trip for me, however. History was not only a moment in the past that I had the opportunity to journey to, but I felt as though history had come to the present.
Have you ever been to a historical location that you connected with?