Sunday, June 14, 2009

Visiting Red Hill

For those of us out there that love history it can be difficult sometimes to feel apart of it. Sure we can read the stories, analyze the journals, and examine the letters but to feel connected, it can be difficult. There are those moments when we take a trip to a historical site and have that opportunity to see the chair that Washington sat in, witness the landscape that Jefferson saw, view the battlefield as Meade had seen it. Those are the moments that we feel most connected to history. Those are the moments I suggest you try and seek out.

I had one of these opportunities the other day when I visited the last home of Patrick Henry. One area of disappointment, which I know many history pundits out there probably get frustrated with, are replicas. Much of the original home of Henry's was destroyed in a fire and so they rebuilt the structure just recently, bringing it back to what they believe was the original design. I completely understand and appreciate their line of thinking and it still beneficial to see a time period piece of architecture but it does not hold the same weight in my mind. It just does not quite have that feeling of authenticity. The one amazing element of the home was the actual in the far east part of the lot. It was the grave stone of Patrick Henry. This was the actual spot that one of our founding fathers and as Jefferson stated, greatest orator, of America. The moment I touched the solid stone tablet I felt connected to history, to the moment and period of the Revolution. It felt like I was apart of history in a small way. Henry was one of the great orators and thinkers of the Revolutionary period and we thank him for his service.

Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.---- Patrick Henry

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