Friday, June 15, 2012

Memorials and Statues

     June 17 marks the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, in 1775.  There is of course a large monument on the hill, which you can ascend and take in a view of Charlestown and Boston.  But I want to focus on the statue of Colonel William Prescott, standing in front of the monument and facing the direction of the British assault on Breed's Hill.

     Prescott was in command but of course did not fight alone.  Although the Patriots lost the battle, Prescott received accolades for his courage and leadership, though there remains some dispute as to whether he or General Israel Putnam was in actual command, but it was Prescott who manned the fort and directed the action in the thick of things.

     His statue on this hill is a reminder of the personal nature of war.  In an age of drones and killing people remotely based on "baseball cards," with Prescott's presence on this hill, where brutal, "whites of their eyes" close killing occurred, we confront the reality of what war is all about, in all its human dimension.

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