Quote for this post: Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
I will be leaving Boston in a few weeks. I thought that walking along the Freedom Trail would be one of the ideal ways to commemorate Boston. With the American Independence day coming up, I was certain that I want to go on the Freedom Trail and capture a piece of American history. Freedom trail is the 2.5-mile trail which covers 16 nationally significant historic sites, which tell the story of American Revolution.
I went to Freedom trail walk along with my mother. The Freedom Trail starts at Boston Common and ends at the Bunker Hill Monument. The trail is marked by a red brick path so it is self-guided. We started at the Bunker Hill Monument and walked towards Boston Common. We got lost a couple of times because the trail got disrupted due to construction. At the end of the day, we reached Boston Common. Hurray for us!
Other than the dry facts below, a few things made this trip interesting. First, I was seeing Boston with my mom, sharing the journey and making memories. Today was a bad choice with regard to the weather; the heat almost killed us. We kept drinking water to keep ourselves hydrated and walked in the shade wherever possible. In a few places, there was a cool breeze for a few seconds and I totally lived in that moment and enjoyed nature’s AC. We took frequent breaks, either to eat or sit and rest our feet for a couple of minutes. Getting lost and figuring out the way was an interesting experience in itself. The trail was also very crowded. I also got the opportunity to visit Charlestown and North End neighborhoods for the first time.
We had a unique experience on the Freedom Trail. In North End, an old American lady was playing a glass harmonica. When she saw us, she asked us where we are from and we replied, ‘India’. Then she played our national anthem, ‘jana gana mana’ on the harmonica and she told me to rotate the handle as she played. This street performer took us by surprise.
By the time we reached home we were dog-tired, but we had lots of pics on our cameras to preserve these memories.
All the information below is from Freedom Trail Brochures.
Bunker Hill Monument
Bunker Hill Monument is a 221-foot obelisk. The Monument commemorates the first major battle of the American Revolution. On June 17, 1775, the ill-equipped Colonists faced the powerful British Amry. Even though the battle was lost, the Colonists take pride that over 1000 British soldiers were wounded or killed. This battle inspired the patriots to continue resistance.
USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. It was built in 1797. The ship is currently dry docked in Charlestown Navy Yard for a multi-year restoration and is allowing visitors onboard.
Paul Revere and Old North Church
Paul Revere was a colonial activist from Boston. On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere rode to Lexington and Concord to warn the patriots that the British were marching by sea and not by land. This information from Paul Revere was communicated from the Old North Church. Read more here. The Old North Church is behind Paul Revere statue.
Faneuil Hall was one of America’s first public meeting venues and was built in 1741. Town meetings were held at Faneuil Hall and it was also a marketplace for more than 270 years. At Faneuil Hall, people protested against the imposition of taxes on the colonies. The statue of Sam Adams is in front of the Faneuil Hall.
Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market are one of my favorite places in Boston.
Old South Meeting House
On December 16, 1773, 5000 angry colonists gathered at the Old South Meeting House to protest a tax on tea and started a revolution with the Boston Tea Party. Colonists assembled at the meeting house to challenge British rule.
Old Corner Bookstore
Built in 1718, it was the literary mecca of America and was the center of American book publishing. In mid 1800s, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth, Louisa May Alcott and other notable authors brought their manuscripts here to be published by Ticknor and Fields Co.
Park Street Church
This church was founded in 1809. The 217-foot steeple of this church was once the first landmark travelers saw when approaching Boston. Women’s suffrage was strongly supported at this church and protests against slavery were also held at this church.
Massachusetts State House
The statehouse was completed on January 11, 1798. Its dome was covered with 23-karat gold leaf in 1874. Now, under this golden dome, the senators, state representatives and governor conduct the daily business of the State.
It is America’s oldest public park. Boston Common began as a common grazing ground for sheep and cattle. In the past, Common was used as a place to hang pirates and witches. Later, it became a place for public talks from historically significant figures such as Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, Pope John Paul II etc. Now, people just enjoy a nice walk in the park.
Enjoy other pics from the Freedom Trail! (Caution: there are about 70 pictures below).