Tag Archives: America

Bunker Hill Day

On Sunday the 12th, the neighborhood of Charlestown celebrated its annual parade for the Battle of Bunker Hill.

In recent years city officials have debated the budget and considered getting rid to two Suffolk county holidays that celebrate important moments during the early revolution war. It would be an attempt to save money as employers get the day off for these holidays which are extremely local. The first day is March 17th, known as Evacuation Day, when the British left Boston. People not in the know have joked Boston gave itself Saint Patrick’s Day off so people could drink the whole day. The second is June 17th, the date of the Battle itself. (The parade is  always celebrated on the Sunday before the 17th, while the actual day is saved for an exercise at the Bunker Hill Monument.)

Politicians with local ties to the neighborhood come to the annual breakfast held before the parade and hosted by the Bunker Hill Associates. While the debate has waxed and waned on Beacon Hill, these politicians have picked up a sentiment stating that we couldn’t have had July 4th without June 17th.

Interestingly the holiday and parade celebrate a military defeat rather than a victory. The rag-tag Continental (or just Massachusetts) militia  held Breed’s Hill through three separate advances by the larger, better trained British Army. When they finally gave up, it wasn’t for lack of trying, but because they ran out of ammo. The British, in taking what turned out to be a rather in consequential hill, suffered heavy loses and learned an important lesson. These patriots were serious and would not roll over.

Perhaps I’m biased as I have lived in Charlestown and experienced these celebrates my entire life, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to get rid of this holiday. However I disagree that the battle of Bunker Hill lead to Independence Day just over a year later. Considering the path the Colonial powers and the British were taking both before June 17th and after, the fourth of July and the Declaration of Independence would have happened in some way sooner or later.

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Fixing Congress

…this system is beginning to crack. Recent events have shown that the wedge between the Democrats and Republicans in Congress has drastically grown larger – not smaller as President Obama had hoped in the beginning of his term. One of the major signs that there was a problem was the long deliberation over the health care bill. Republicans had hoped – and some still do – to defeat it. Now the Republicans have defeated a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by filibustering. In fact, Obama has essentially given up on his campaign promise of bipartisanship as the Republicans refuse to work with him.

This two party system has got to change. Instead of a binary, either Democrat or Republican, we should consider a spectrum, with liberal, moderate, and conservative parties. Most members of Congress would fall into one of these categories. Of course there would be some who wouldn’t quite fit, such as moderates who lean liberal or conservative more often than their moderate colleagues.

Want to read more? Then head over to the Hofstra Chronicle site and read my second column. Also celebrating my byline changing from contributing writer to columnist. I’m moving up.

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Religious Tolerance?

Or lack thereof? Taking a look at how tolerant America is of other religious in light of the proposed Qur’an burning down in FL. Published in my school newspaper.

America is a country of freedoms. So many freedoms that we have to prioritize them. Take the First Amendment as an example: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”James Madison placed the clauses about religion before the speech clause- does that mean that the freedom of religion is valued more than the freedom of speech? Or is freedom of religion valued the least and is the most easily infringed upon than the other freedoms?

Click the link above to read the rest!

Also: while forming a structured argument for this column, I left out a factoid, that didn’t really flow well with the rest of the column, however it is pretty astounding. Pastor Jones was so out there, that even SARAH PALIN tweeted against his idea. “Koran Burning Is Insensitive, Unnecessary; Pastor Jones, Please Stand Down”

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Nine Years

In honor of 9/11 I am reposting what I wrote last year.

First off I am torn between wanting the day off for reflection, remembrance (and prayer) or not, to go about my daily business just to prove those terrorists wrong. The world doesn’t need to stop. Every year we go on, we prove them wrong.  I guess what we have now, the ceremony at Ground Zero is kind of a compromise. But the day only stops for those involved, and not the bystanders, regular Americans.

Whenever I think of 9/11 though, I notice that it was a defining point in my life. I was in seventh grade in 2001. What came before that 9/11 was an elementary school – my childhood in a sense. And then starting at Boston Latin and having the towers fall only a few days later closed that chapter and opened a new one. Before I wasn’t very concerned with the world around me (what elementary school student is?) I remember the election of 2000 and just wishing they would pick somebody by the second week. I didn’t care who anymore. That was really the only big story I remember from elementary school, other then when Clinton got impeached, and I didn’t fully understand that. Afterwards, I was much more aware. Enduring Freedom, Shock and Awe/ Iraqi Freedom. The 2004 election. Even state issues like when the school ran out of paper. I can’t say how much of my increased awareness was from going to BLS and how much of it was just living in a post 9/11 world, but I know it was a combination of the two.

My earliest news related memory was actually the evening news in the summer of 91. I was 2 and a half. I remember a few seconds of a story on the First Gulf War. Now, I know that when I was watching it with my parents I had no idea what was going on then, but I do think it is, well almost amusing that I have that memory. I know a few third graders from church (We are both  altar servers at St Francis de Sales Parish) and I realized this summer that they don’t know anything but a post 9/11 world. I find that almost fascinating because they probably don’t think about it now, but when they are older, like in high school or college, they would look back and realize how much it has shaped their lives, how much they’ll never know first hand, like the ‘good’ 90s – everything up to September 10th 2001 . All they ever know is the Bush Presidency, the two wars and now Obama.

Yes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are far away wars that the news media sometimes cover a lot, but now mostly don’t, but I see them as a links in a chain of events that started on 9/11. Bush asked to go into Afghanistan and we said yes. A year later he asked the same for Iraq and again we said yes (some lies were involved) Sometimes, it seems like the rough economic times are even connected to 9/11.

Now, I remember how Iraq was always in the news while Afghanistan was an afterthought. It seems like today, it’s reversed with the combat troops out of Iraq. Maybe we were never meant to be there in the first place, but once we were there, we ended up doing more good than harm.

I wish I could say the same for Afghanistan. It will be nine years come October 7th. Almost as long as American involvement in Vietnam. Let’s hope it doesn’t become longer.

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My Country, Tis of Thee?

Some Patriotic themed musings to consider.

First, I found a rather grim forecast of what’s to come for America. It isn’t pretty at all. While reading it, I found I didn’t agree entirely with what the author was saying, but I could see kernels of truth. He (I’m assuming the author “lancefreeman76”  is a he) is extremely pessimistic and doesn’t think there’s hope for change. I, on the other hand. do think there’s hope, especially since we did elect Obama. (The author doesn’t mention our President or Health Care Reform at all, which is something to consider)

The second is a blog post by Tim Wise about how race affects the way we view the Tea Party. Playing a game called Imagine, Wise paints a scary picture: If the Tea Party were black, they would be seen as violent radicals if not terrorists.

Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it.

“Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black” – Tim Wise

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