On Tuesday I visited my college friend K in North Andover, MA. K and I see each other a few times a year and our visits are usually some type of field trip. The last time we got together we visited the ICA Museum in Boston to see the Shepard Fairey exhibit.
A few weeks ago I read a book called The Heretic's Daughter which deals with the Salem witch trials. Quite a bit of the book takes place in N. Andover and I recommended the book to K, thinking she might enjoy some of the local references. Not to mention K is a huge history buff. Of course, she had already heard of the book and she informed me that there were more woman from N. Andover accused and convicted of witchcraft than women from Salem. Who knew? She then suggested that our next field trip be a visit to the sites in N. Andover related to this part of our country's history. How could I resist?
So on Tuesday I drove to her house and she proceeded to drive me around N. Andover pointing out sites of historical interest. We stopped at two historic cemeteries with guidebook in hand in hopes of locating the graves of people related to the accused "witches". (None of the accused women are buried in N. Andover apparently). While we saw many interesting gravestones dating back to the mid 1700s, we never did find the relatives of the witches.
But all was not lost. While I may have been searching for evidence of one part of our nation's history, I actually found another. One thing I noticed right away was that many of the graves were marked with fresh American flags decorated with badges that said 1776! The cemeteries we visited were filled with Revolutionary War veterans. Since it was the day before Veterans Day it was clear someone had visited the cemetery very recently and place the flags there to honor these first veterans of our country. I was very moved to see this. It filled me with pride and gratitude to know that no veterans of the US military are ever forgotten. No matter how long ago they served. All of our veterans and patriots deserve our thanks and remembrance. Even the originals.
Image from Google Images (I had my camera in my purse, but I failed to take pictures. *slaps self on forehead*)