Autumn 1777 - The Battle of Saratoga

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
While it's easy for most of us to live a peaceful existence without fear for our day-to-day safety, fact is, that is not the case for certain parts of our world.  Those of you with family members in the military know full well of that fact as your sons and daughters fight everyday for our freedom and safety.  For most of us, except for 9/11, war and its damage and casualties are a concept that we associate with 'stuff that happens in other countries'.   But the truth is, war once occurred right here in our own backyards.  I don't know about you, but this truth often escapes my everyday consciousness.  I was reminded of it yesterday when John and I visited the Saratoga Battlefield.

I've been there before, a handful of times in fact.  I've read the placards and monuments and seen the canons.  Maybe I was too young to appreciate its significance before, or maybe yesterday it was because of all the recent unrest our country has been involved in.   Whatever the reason, yesterday's visit made me realize that not so long ago, battles happened right here in Saratoga County, my neck of the woods.  Of course it wasn't just here, it was all around us.  I have already blogged about the Palatine Lutheran Church which was spared during this same war.  But think about it for a devastating as 9/11 was killing thousands in an instant......imagine a ground war in your neighborhood!!  That's a pretty scary thought and one I think most of us ignore, if only for the purpose of being able to sleep at night and live a life not motivated by fear.  So, if you're like me and know your history but go about life taking our safety and freedom a little for granted, assuming that wars take place in other countries, take a moment to enjoy the peaceful countryside where the Battle of Saratoga took place not so long ago.  I'm sure it looked much different back then.  Take a moment to think of the significance of this battle.  As their website says, "Because of the incredible impact caused by the American victory in the Battles of Saratoga, they are known as the "Turning Point of the American Revolution", and are considered by many historians to be among the top 15 battles in world history."

Deer in the park were plentiful and relatively unimpressed by our presence.

 I am sure that these photos do little to depict a war fought, or freedom won.  In fact to me, they represent peace and tranquility - a peace that our ancestors fought to win for us.  So today I ask you this...when you look around at the beauty that surrounds where you live, when you feel the sense of peace and safety that we often feel in our own country, remember the wars that were fought here on our land, in our backyards so many years ago.  Remember those who fought, many of whom gave their lives to protect us and provide the safety and peace we sometimes take for granted.  And remember and thank the servicemen and women who are fighting to keep us safe and keep wars from happening on our soil, in our backyards.  It wasn't so long ago that we faced that and I pray that we never see it again.   

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