9008602284?profile=originalby Wendie Hansen with Kaleel Sakakeeny

Please watch the 1-minute video postcard at the end of this Blog

It was a pilgrimage of sorts, this visit to the old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts, where one of the first battles of the American Revolution was waged on April 19, 1775.

I went to reclaim something.

The  minutemen, and the occasional trek to this iconic bridge, was part of my  historic narrative, just as it is for all Americans. Or should be.

But the loyalty I had felt in the naiveté of youth had perished in the anarchistic sixties, fluttered hopefully with the election of our first African American President, then faded fast in the downpour of political vitriol that followed.

 I wanted to see if, returning to Concord, I might feel something that would connect me to those revolutionaries in the Arab world; in Tahrir Square, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, who were  demonstrating , fighting and dying for a freedom we have long taken for granted.

I had walked the roads of those countries too.

I asked a woman with a camera what brought her to Concord, to the Old North Bridge, today. “I’ve never been, and I happened to be nearby…so I thought, might as well…” 

“But” I ventured to ask,  “does it make you feel anything about what’s happening in the Arab world now?”

She stared blankly at first, then “oh, I see what you mean, like Egypt?”

I smiled yes.. and thought “so much more”.

Then I was alone, and still.

Across the stream a man and child approached.

He was from Ghana, and we stood together by the Acton Minuteman Isaac Davis and Emerson’s poem.

“By the Rude bridge that arched the flood
Their flag to Aprils breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
and fired the shot heard round the world”

How right, that he should be there. Together we and this place roughly represented what was possible.

We talked of struggle and freedom.

“What has happened to this country? he said, “ you fought so hard against tyranny… what... do you value now?”

Video PostCard

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  • Thanks, Wendy. If you're ever in Concord, you're close to where I live, Boston. Give a call. We can split a bowl of clam chowda



  • Ditto for me: what an inspiring story. Next time I'm in that part of the country, I will make a point of stopping by. Thanks, Kaleel.
  • Well, in a previous post we reported that about a third of kids between 14 and 17 could not find the United States on a blank map and a higher percent could not find Iraq, inspite of our long involvement in that troubled country.
    What should we expect from Palin?
    Thanks for writing in, Sam
  • Palin's approval rate among Republican voters has declined to around 60%. That it was even higher doesn't speak well of our nation's knowledge of geography or anything else; in 2008 her approval rating was 88%. And Tahrir Square: Vermont, right?
  • Ah, Donna! You discovered my hidden motive. Her faux pas was very much part of the reason this was posted.

    Thanks for writing in!



  • Kaleel and Ed,

    Before you two get carried away with the spirit of the '60s in Concord, Mass., let me remind you Americans that you have an presidential candidate who thinks Concord is in New Hampshire. 

  • Thanks, ED!  I hope the spirit of the 60's are still with us...They were electric times , remember :)
  • Kaleel, as another alum of the 60s, I found this to be a thought-provoking blog. Of course, I hate having to think about things more complex than hotel rooms, but it's good for me.
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