So here's my first bit of advice to people going to Boston: get out of the mall.
My second piece of advice: Read up. It's been a while since I read David McCullough and Ron Chernow, but I was glad I've done it. The things I saw seemed so much more alive.
|The old statehouse|
Interestingly, five people died in the Boston Massacre. It is remembered as an event that ramped up tensions between the colonies and England, contributing to the Revolutionary War.
Sadly, five deaths today is considered collateral damage. I walked around feeling so proud of my heritage, but like so many other Americans I feel like we've lost some of that spirit that champions the common man--which may be why the mall made me so uncomfortable.
It's tricky. The rabble-rousers can be just as wrong-headed as the conformists. So I'll just finish with a quote that crossed my twitter feed a while ago from the late American journalist Mignon McLaughlin:
"Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers."