Gaspee Days Parade

Gaspee Days Parade

On June 13, the Adventure Team attended the Gaspee Days parade here in Cranston. The parade celebrates the burning of the H.M.S. Gaspee near Gaspee Point in the Narragansett Bay in 1772. The H.M.S. Gaspee was a British tax collecting ship. The burning of the Gaspee was an act of civil disobedience that led to the War for Independence. The parade consisted mostly of fife, drum, and musket corps from Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The marchers dressed in the costumes and uniforms of the historical communities and militias the represented.

I was surprised to find myself moved by the event. My stolid Dutch heritage taught me not to express patriotic emotions. What moved me at the Gaspee Days parade was the living embodiment of communities that 225 years ago banded together to face the greatest military power that the world had ever seen. Some of the marchers went barefoot. Many didn’t have uniforms. It’s this part of the American story that moves me: the legacy of every day people banding together against incredible odds to seek their freedom. It’s this legacy that continues to inspire people around the world today.

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