Editorial: The British are …
American history will be presented in all its glory — all weekend long — thanks to the efforts of Ridgefield’s Jerusalem 49 Masonic Lodge, whose members have been working tirelessly over several months to turn back the clock 240 years and transform the town into its original Colonial setting.
Joining the celebration of Ridgefield’s revolutionary spirit is not only the right thing to do on a moral level — paying respects to those who sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy today is always righteous and proper, but the weekend’s festivities offer residents a chance to unlock knowledge in a real-life, interactive setting.
When else can you visit the Keeler Tavern and see living, breathing patriot soldiers decked out in their 1777 costumes? Ditto, for Ballard Park, where the British troops — the antagonists in Saturday’s battle re-enactment — will be setting up their camp and performing century-old army drills.
It’s an experience that shouldn’t be missed.
While the British might never have came inland in Connecticut following their April 1777 assault on the area’s rebel militiamen, they certainly left an historical imprint around town. Whether it’s the cannonball still lodged in the tavern’s wooden corner- posts or the numerous graves around town — which residents can tour Sunday after the battle, His Majesty’s 54th Regiment of Foot and Ninth Regiment of Foot certainly have a story that’s worthy of our collective attention, as the lessons for why they “lost” the battle are multifaceted and complex.
Of course, there was no true “winner” in this battle — the graveyard tours can attest to that, but what needs to be remembered is how the skirmish was more than two opposing military forces going up against one another. Rather, it was men — of a different time period — galvanizing together under one purpose and, eventually, one flag.
It’s a belief that keeps us united all these years later, yet is sometimes forgotten amid the modern-day political melee.
But that’s exactly why history needs to be recreated sometimes. Its values are timeless.