Notes from a Walk Around Boston

Plaques in the Old North Church

Major John Pitcairn
fatally wounded
while rallying the Royal Marines
at the Battle of Bunker Hill
was carried from the field to the boats
on the back of his son
who kissed him and returned to duty.
He died June 17, 1775 and his body
was interred beneath this church


In memory of
The Revd Mather Byles Jr. DD.
Rector of this Parish 1768-1775
and of the Parish of St. John 1788-1814.
Loyal to the King
he was banished by the act of 1778
"to suffer death without benefit of clergy"
if he should return

Plaque in the Holocaust Memorial Park

April 12, 1945 OHRDRUF concentration camp

THE THINGS I SAW beggar description. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. . .  I made the visit deliberately in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things, if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to propaganda.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Forces
34th President of the United States

That last a bit too prophetic of what was to come.  Memory inevitably alters history--but in those who would deny one of the great horrors of the 20th century (of which there were many), it is not merely the subtle effects of shifting memory, but malice and willful distortion.

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