Monday, July 4, 2011

Land of the Free, Because of the Brave

Happy Independence Day!

Living in the Cradle of American History as I do in the suburbs of Philadelphia, it's often easy to forget to recognize those who have fought for our liberties since our independence 235 years ago. 

In truth though, our struggles as a nation went back even farther, as do our lands and towns surrounding Philadelphia.  In fact, this year, Warminster (the town where I serve as an elected official) celebrates its 300th birthday! 

I grew up a short bike ride away from the battlefields at Valley Forge National Park. We often spent our Independence Day at picnics at Valley Forge. The park is a national treasure that is a must-see! 

There are often historic reenactments of George Washington's troops at Valley Forge. This picture is one from this year's (February) reenactment.

This is Elfreth's Alley. The home I lived in, on Spruce
Street, was built in the same era but was on a wider
street, built for two horse carts across. (A double-
lane highway, of its day!)
Later in life, I lived in the City's most historic area, known as Society Hill.  Our home (which we rented) was built in 1743; it was just 13' wide but 54' deep, 3 stories tall ("Father, Son and the Holy Ghost"), with worn marble steps outside and original oak floors inside. It was lovely -- and such a fun time in my life!

Our family recognized our nation's history and made it part of our own, when my darling daughter Emily married my best son-in-law ever Josh, in 2008.  They were married at Gloria Dei Old Swedes' Church, the oldest church in Pennsylvania and the second oldest in the nation, where services have been held continuously since 1700. 

Their wedding pictures were taken in the church and its beautiful grounds, as well as in and around Philadelphia, including this one at Carpenter's Hall:

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of history, as I've reminisced about what it's meant to me personally. 

Celebrate your Independence today by doing whatever makes you happiest!


Pat N. said...

Thanks for sharing your fun facts Ellen. Nice to know!--Pat N.

Tami B. said...

Great post, I really enjoyed the pics. Happy 4th!

Shawn Mosch said...

Happy 4th Sistah!

Christine said...

HI Ellen,
I love your comments on Philadelphia, especially since I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I moved to the Bucks County suburbs about 8 years ago. My Pastor actually owned a home on Elfreth's Alley. I love walking through the historic streets and buildings and try to imagine what it was like to live in the 1700's.
Have a blessed 4th of July!


Ms_Dee said...

Thanks for the historical facts...Great pics....