Surrender of British General Burgoyne to Amercian Forces at the Battle of Saratoga.
I was at the Saratoga Battlefield in Stillwater, New York today. The Battle of Saratoga was considered the turning point in the American War for Independence. It has an interesting story.
You see, up until this point, the colonists fighting against Great Britain failed to win a major battle. Because of this pesky fact, other countries were unwilling to lend the colonies money to finance the war. It makes sense. Why would you donate money to a losing cause?
The American win at Saratoga proved to other countries that America was worth investing in. Mind you, loans were still hard to get after this victory, but at least the colonies had something they could show their lenders.
The Battle of Saratoga was also were Benedict Arnold became a hero for America. He fought bravely and courageously and his leadership is considered by many experts to be one of the reasons America won the battle. This, of course, all took place before Ben decided to betray the colonies and switch over to the British side. (In retrospect, that was a bad career choice.) Most only know him today as a traitor; no one remembers his heroic efforts for America at Saratoga. There is actually a monument to Arnold at the battlefield. However, because of his betrayal, his monument does not mention his name. (As an interesting side note, Arnold decided to switch over the Britain because he felt he wasn’t receiving the proper recognition from the colonies. His betrayal insured he would never receive recognition.)
Today, the battlefield is an empty field. It is sanitized. It has nice paved roads allows you to stay in your car as you drive to historic markers and picnic tables where you can enjoy a nice lunch. Post cards are available at the Visitor’s Center.
220 years ago it was a far different place. Many lives were lost. It was actually a major reason why there is a United States today. I usually take the battlefield for granted because it is within 10 minutes of my house.
I think it is important to take time out to recognize that it is an important and sacred place.