Thursday, March 11, 2010

USS Constitution Fires Away...

...just as it ought to.

Last November, ironically a few days before Veterans' Day, some apparently new residents of the expensive condos around the Navy Yard in Charlestown complained to the USS Constitution's commanding officer, Timothy Cooper, about the noise of the twice-daily cannon salute accompanying the raising and lowering of the flag. One of the many stories at that time is available here: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/21549034/detail.html

It's hard to imagine what the complainers were thinking. Proximity to the USS Constitution was undoubtedly a selling point for this high-priced condo development. The twice-daily firing of the cannons has never been a secret, and is a 200-year-old tradition, not something dreamed up last summer to attract more tourists. If their real estate agents did not disclose this feature of the neighborhood before they purchased, perhaps they have a complaint against those agents--but it would also tell us that they did no research whatsoever about the historic neighborhood they were proposing to move to. Also, this is an urban neighborhood--not a leafy suburb one might move to with a reasonable expectation of peace and quiet.

It's like moving in next to a chicken farm and then complaining about the rooster crowing every morning. Or any small farm, and then complaining about the smell of the manure used to fertilize the fields. Except that in addition to being an unreasonable demand that the neighborhood change to accommodate the newcomers who moved there in part because of the very characteristics they now want changed, this is an attack on an essential piece of American history and a fine patriotic tradition.

Happily, Timothy Cooper has decided that the complainers need not be accommodated. Tradition and history prevail, and the twice-daily ceremony will continue unchanged. Story here: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/22808207/detail.html