“We can never ever know enough about the American Revolution.”
Those are the words of David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, at the grand opening ceremony of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia on April 19.
The museum not only tells the story of the war, but of the events that led up to and followed it. It attempts to engage visitors, making them question what they would do in the shoes of those in the past.
The museum was opened with great fanfare and numerous speeches. In addition to McCullough, other speakers included former Vice President Joe Biden, journalist Cokie Roberts, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
“This museum will provide greater insight into the sacrifices that were made in order to make the ideas that were first discussed at Independence Hall a reality,” Kenney said. “This museum will provide us with a much deeper appreciation of what it means to live free.”
Rendell heaped praise upon the museum, which he hopes will broaden understanding about the war that created the United States of America.
“I urge everyone in Philadelphia, the greater Philadelphia area and, for that matter, the entire country to bring their kids and their grandkids to this museum to learn the story of the sacrifices and the risks that were taken to create this country,” he said.
Time and time again, the speakers highlighted the museum’s inclusive approach to history. It tells the story not only of the founding fathers, but of the common folk, of the Native Americans, the slaves, the women who helped make the United States possible.
“Without all of them this would never have happened,” Kenney said, calling their inclusion the most important part of the museum.
It’s a sentiment Governor Tom Wolf agreed with.
“Freedom is a light for which many men and women have died in darkness,” he said. “This museum will aim to turn the light on and tell the story of those real women and men from Pennsylvania, and from all over the world, who have made this country what it is and who shocked the world 240 years ago when they did the impossible by defeating a mighty empire.”
Among those forgotten people is the Oneida nation, which fought alongside Washington and the Continental Army to help win the Revolutionary War.
The Oneidas fought bravely in multiple battles including the Battle of Oriskany and acted as scouts and guides as well throughout the war. As a result of helping the Americans a village was destroyed in 1780 and they were forced to leave their homes and property.
The Museum of the American Revolution tells part of the Oneida story, including how siding with the revolutionaries put them at odds with many other tribes.
“With today’s opening of the national Museum of the American Revolution we are rescuing the…