Imagining a Mythologized Battle in Charlestown, Massachusetts
A granite obelisk at the top of a surprisingly steep hill stands watch over stately town homes — a spot more important for its mythology than its history. The Bunker Hill Monument is actually located on Breed's Hill, but it's not likely to be renamed anytime soon. And the battle wasn't really a victory for the Patriots (but that's not leaving the textbooks, either). That the outgunned Rebels bloodied the Redcoats' nose has become part of our national hagiography, and much of that mythos began here. In the summer, the monument's manicured lawns are perfect for a picnic; in winter, the city and the harbor look clean under a new snow. High above the tugs and tankers to the east, the Bunker Hill Monument offers a serene quiet befitting a battlefield — and a calm ripe for historical reflection, regardless of how the archives were written.