There has been much talk about Evacuation Day and Bunker Hill Day and about whether or not they are legitimate holidays.
That question arises in Suffolk County because these two holidays are exclusively Suffolk County holidays and have been since 1941.
These holidays have been called an insult to taxpayers by some senators and representatives who don’t know any better.
Others of us believe they are real holidays, hardly the stuff of insult.
Our Boston City Councillor Sal LaMattina is among the few and the brave who dare to celebrate the holidays for what they are – tremendously important dates in the history of this nation that date back to the Revolutionary War and the fight for independence.
Last week, LaMattina’s office was closed for Evacuation Day.
This was fitting and just and something we have come to expect from our city councillor.
Many of his colleagues chose to keep their offices open.
Those who did so are hypocrites as nothing was saved; rather, something commemorating our Revolutionary War was lost.
Boston is a city that relies heavily on tourism dollars. It also relies heavily on its long and enduring history and on our connection to the Revolutionary War.
Keeping one’s political office open on the anniversary of a day when the Americans forced the British Empire to sail its fleet out of Boston Harbor by mounting cannon on Dorchester Heights does little to commemorate a moment in history when, for the first time in 300 years, the British Fleet had been challenged and forced to retreat.
LaMattina told us he kept his office closed out of respect to that bit of history and that he will do the same on Bunker Hill Day.
Congratulations to our city councillor.
He is doing the right thing – something many of his colleagues cannot get themselves to do as they understand so little about our history and how this nation came into being.
Bunker Hill Day will soon be coming along with the regular chorus of politicians and newspaper columnists calling it a hack holiday.
Some hack holiday it was for the more than 200 Americans who died that day in one of the most historic confrontations between the vaunted British Army and a group of American irregulars.
Bunker Hill was the first time in 300 years that anyone in an organized way had challenged the might and the firepower of the British Army. Other armies ran at the sight of the Red Coats. Not the Americans.
If the Americans hadn’t run out of ammunition on the third British charge up the hill, they might have won the battle.
Bunker Hill today is a living monument to those who gave everything for the Revolution. That is a concept impossible to explain to modern journalists, commentators and even the city and state government office holders.
Sal LaMattina understands the concept of memorializing those who gave their lives in the name of the Revolution.
He has the personal courage to maintain these holidays, as they should be maintained, as long as this nation stands.