Happy 4th of July From Saratoga

I was thinking about the very best place I could be this Fourth of July to celebrate our country’s birthday. Boston? Sure, but too crowded. Philadelphia? Yeah, but so obvious. Also, I didn’t want to travel very far. I thought Brooklyn was a good idea, especially since David McCullough’s book 1776 talks so much about it. The Battle of Brooklyn was one of those pivotal events in the history of the nation that’s gone largely unheralded.

But what else? How about the place where it all really started? No, not Plymouth Rock. I’m talking about the place where the fight for independence really started. OK, give up? Well, I am in Saratoga Springs this weekend, and I just got back moments ago from the Saratoga Battlefield, the location of one of the most pivotal battles in all of American history.

 I’ll spare you the history lesson and merely point you to the Wikipedia site to get your fix, but suffice it to say that it was because we proved our mettle here on these very fields that the French thought us worthy of their support. We took on the superior British forces of General John Burgoyne and forced him to surrender to a ragtag group of pissed off colonists. And it was that battle that made the French decide to throw a little succor our way, enough help to propel us on our way to nationhood. In fact, many historians say that without that support, we might never have won the war.

So here I am on the very ground where this whole independence thing really took off. Pretty damn cool. And  hey, if you haven’t already noticed by the photos here…it’s kinda pretty.