Saturday, November 12, 2011


When was the last time you felt like you were on hallowed ground?  No doubt, you have felt that way a few times in life.  For me, those occasions have invariably been tied to events that shaped our history in significant ways - or that honor those whose sacrifices have helped preserve our way of life.  A recent run provided a great refresher in American history - and one that again provided me that feeling of being on hallowed ground.  It was Boston's Run to 
Remember - and fittingly - it was run over the Memorial Day weekend.
When the idea for this run was conceived, it was to recognize and remember police and law enforcement offers who had fallen in the line of duty.  Over time, veteran's were also part of the remembrance.  For me, our itinerary made it easy to include many others.  We rode and walked through sites forever tied to the American revolution and the birth of our nation.  The greens at Lexington and Concord; the roads along which the Massachusetts militia clashed with the British and blood was first shed in the fledging cause; the road ridden by Paul Revere and his associates as they set out to warn the communities that the British were on their way; and even some of the homes that still stand and where the seeds of the revolution were planted and took root.  History comes alive when walking the ground where it took place - and such was the case in the Boston area for this trip.  We also had the good fortune of having an excellent guide accompany us.  On the day we visited many of these sites, we met Camille Bennett Foster (Brad's sister and someone I knew very well in my youth and have stayed in touch with over the years), who has lived in the area for probably 30 years.  She was very familiar with the area and the history and took us to some great sites and gave us some excellent insights.  We also visited the Minutemen National Historical Park where exhibits and information enhanced the experience and gave us renewed appreciation for those who paved the way for future generations.  In addition to the Revolutionary War experience, Camille took us to several other sites we would never have known about on our own - indeed a cradle of early American literature, to include the home of Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne (a literary tradition for several generations in this home), Henry David Thoreau, and Walden's Pond, to include his small shanty where he lived "off the land" for several years.  It was both interesting and enlightening - definitely time well-spent.
As for the run, itself, it showcased much of Boston and was a race with both an urban and an historical flavor.  It started downtown on the waterfront at the Seaport World Trade Center, but then snaked through the city between glitzy, modern skyscrapers and past old quarters where taverns have stood for three centuries.  It also followed the Charles River past MIT to Harvard Square with its Ivy League history.  It was a very good run, with good support along the way, and lots of spectators. After the race we made a special stop - courtesy of Karen's particular interest - which you will immediately recognize.  We visited the birthplace and first home of John F. Kennedy.  When we arrived we learned it was his birthday!  The Park Service was celebrating with free admission to the home and birthday cake in the back.  It was actually a worthwhile stop.

One other note concerning the race and our visit; we had exceptional Rachel care.  She stayed with Amy Eyring, who is Pres. Eyring's daughter-in-law, and had a great time. After the race, we went to church with them, visited the Boston Temple and were her guests for a wonderful Sunday evening and dinner to cap off the day (it was also Amy's birthday), with Camille and her husband Dave joining us.  Amy's husband, Matt, was in Utah with his son at a Jimmer Fredette basketball camp, so we didn't meet him, but it was a delightful family and visit.
I think it is safe to say that history - of any kind - was not one of my favorite subjects as I went through school.  However, over the years I have come to enjoy reading books on history - and every once in awhile - have had the good fortune and remarkable experience of it coming alive.  The academic then becomes much more than pages in a book - the people more real - and the places indeed hallowed ground.  Such was our experience as we visited Massachusetts for Boston's Run to Remember - and the chance to give Revolutionary Running a whole new meaning.
Pick up a book and read something about our history.  Better yet, follow it up with a visit.  You might find it amazing where and how our history was made and our futures shaped.