A gloriously warm Patriots' Day. Tough for the Marathon runners, but perfect for cycling. Down on Cape Cod, Ian and I went out for a 32 mile spin. We consciously tried to experiment with some unfamiliar roads (which led to an extended dirt stretch going north from Harwich into Brewster), and found ourselves at a quiet corner in North Harwich looking at an ancient cemetery (no shortage of those on the Cape). I saw an American flag on a grave, something clicked, and I took a peek -- sure enough, it was the final resting place of Job Chase, Revolutionary War Veteran. The old slate headstone was moss-encrusted, but I could make out that he had passed in 1833, age 97. (the link has a much better photo than the one I took).
We found a second Revolutionary veteran in the North Harwich cemetery, and visited three more in the South Dennis cemetery. At each, we gave thanks for their service, and wished them peace in the afterlife.
I reflected on what would have been required to get Job Chase, age 39 (advanced age for the time) to leave hearth and home and join the fight for independence. He had a brand new wife (his second, her third husband). He had several children, and was a significant land owner and businessman. Nevertheless, he enlisted as a sergeant in the American army A special kind of commitment. He lived to see the first 57 years of the American Experiment, and I'd like to think that he would be pleased with how we continue to uphold the same ideals today.
God Bless America! -- and thanks to all veterans for their service!