NOTE: This was written 15 years ago!
We took a family trip to Boston as a sort of summer kick-off, the weekend after school let out. We needed some down time, an opportunity to relax, get away from computers, cell phones, faxes and schoolwork. September 2 will come soon enough.
Boston was chosen for it’s close proximity to home, ease in transportation and it’s rich history. The wide variety of food, shopping and more food was also a necessity with four growing children. So off we went.
By way of the Old Town Trolley we arrived at the harbor and boarded a boat for a cruise to the other side. Ambling around in Boston Harbor (if boats are allowed to amble), we learned about the landfill that is the base of the immense Logan Airport. We saw little red striped tugboats lined up to bring huge ships into port. The Cormorants were zipping past, just inches above the surface of the water, looking for a lunch of fish.
As we approached the end of our sail many of us headed to the bow to catch first glimpses of the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world, and berthed almost next to it, the USS Cassin Young, a destroyer similar to those which were built in Boston’s Charlestown Naval Yard during World War II. One made of wood, the other metal. Quite a “then and now” experience. And in no way to be overlooked, looming behind the vessels upon a hill was a monolith of granite, The Bunker Hill Monument.
“Look honey, there’s the Bunker Hill monument, that’s where some important battle took place,” a woman standing next to us, said to her husband.
“Excuse me but actually the battle took place on Breed’s Hill and the monument was put on the hill that they were supposed to fight on and the fight was the first major battle of the American Revolution,” piped up our 9-year-old daughter.
The man and woman turned, looked at our daughter, smiled and thanked her for the history lesson.
And what was my response? Of course, I was the mother beaming with pride and gave her a generous hug. Not only was her response spontaneous but accurate as well. I said a prayer of thanks for the teaching she has received in Hamden’s public schools and an extra thanks to her teacher Mrs. Longo who read “Patriots – A Story of Bunker Hill by Gregory T. Edgar to the class after a visit to the school by the author and his wife.
If you’d like to hone up your history facts about the American Revolution, the following website www.americanrevolution.org is a treasure trove of information. In the event you don’t have time to read the book, head to Boston, or see the monument itself, you can see a series of paintings about the Battle of Bunker Hill and others about the American Revolution by John Trumbull at the Yale University Art Gallery right here in New Haven. To check hours of operation their website is www.yale.edu/artgallery/
And, the next time someone asks you, “So, are Hamden Public Schools any good?” You can respond in the positive and for further information refer them to one of its’ fourth graders.