EDITORIAL

A search 250 years in the making

Posted 5/10/22

The 250th celebration commemorating the burning of the HMS Gaspee will be unlike any that has come before it.

Not only is the anniversary itself significant, but it coincides with the exciting …

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EDITORIAL

A search 250 years in the making

Posted

The 250th celebration commemorating the burning of the HMS Gaspee will be unlike any that has come before it.

Not only is the anniversary itself significant, but it coincides with the exciting fact that a bona fide search for whatever might remain of the ill-fated vessel will commence this summer. While it is important to keep hopes down to a realistic level — the Gaspee wasn’t the Titanic, and they won’t be pulling out anything resembling the Black Pearl from the waters off Gaspee Point — the fact that a search is on at all is a cause for celebration.

The Gaspee story is one that hearkens back to a time before our country began, and the modern world before us was simply unimaginable. As all locals know by now, it has been counted as one of the first meaningful acts of outward rebellion by the colonists against the Crown that would eventually coalesce into the Revolutionary War, and bring about our independence as a sovereign nation.

When we embrace and engage in our history, we connect to a sense of common purpose that can unite us in our very different modern world today. Although the world was much different back then, and in many ways for many of our diverse friends today it was a much darker place, we can find common ground in the spirit of what the Gaspee event represented — a strike back against unfair practices and under-representation, and a little victory for the underdogs who went up against an empire and emerged successful at the other end. There is still merit within the symbolism of that victory today.

Rhode Islanders understand the importance of embracing their local history, and there are few events that help capture that energy like the annual Gaspee celebrations. And this year, the 250th anniversary, promises to be the most special one yet. Local breweries are already cranking out Gaspee-themed craft beers, and we’re sure that there will be lots more small businesses finding a way to embrace the celebration around the area.

We encourage everyone to join the fun, and keep an eye out for news regarding the search progress. Some things are very much worth waiting for, even if it takes 250 years.

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