As I stood in Independence Hall, in the room where the Founders debated the Declaration of Independence, I suddenly started thinking of the opening scene from the musical 1776, when John Adams cries for independence while everyone else complains about either the heat or the flies. “Won’t somebody open up a window?” one of the delegates pleads. “Too many flies!” others respond, shouting him down. Adams is advocating the most lofty of ideas but everyone else is mired in their own personal discomfort. What a great metaphor.
To stand in that room where Adams and the other delegates worked was a privilege. The tour group consisted of 50 people or so, so there was no opportunity for quiet reflection. There was no sublime, transcendent moment of awe or epiphany. The tour guide could not even tell me which table Adams sat at except “toward the back over here somewhere.” Continue reading “Standing in the Room Where American Was Born”